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Celebrity chef Mindy Segal is joining the canna-biz club. The award-winning pastry chef is looking for a new challenge to master and a new frontier to blaze a trail on, and she believes she has found these in marijuana baked goods, according to the Associated Press.
Banking and getting baked seem like a good combination to other foodies, too. The Huffington Post got a big scoop earlier this year when it wrote about ice cream giants Ben and Jerry contemplating creating cannabis ice creams. But Mindy Segal is taking it to the next level, and has already begun developing baked goods with cannabis infused butters and oils.
Ill in Illinois?
Segal's core value as a chef is making people happy, she says. As such, Segal sees the medical marijuana business as an extension of this, saying, "We're going to come up with recipes that are portioned and dosed properly. So we're healing, and that's the whole idea that we're healing, making people have appetites, not have pain."
Medical marijuana just became legal in Illinois, and Mindy Segal's baked cannabis creations will be sold at local dispensaries, starting in February, she hopes. The special goods will not be sold at Segal's own restaurant, Mindy's Hot Chocolate. Instead the master baker is working with Cresco Labs, which is licensed to cultivate and grow marijuana, as well as produce edibles.
Segal is starting with Illinois but there are plans to expand the edibles business to other states that allow recreational and medical marijuana. She said that, with Cresco labs, she is designing a product that can be licensed to other distributors.
Segal's goal as a chef is to elevate the edibles industry. Plenty of people around the country are making marijuana baked goods -- but so far, Mindy Segal is the only baker with a James Beard Award for excellence in cuisine tossing her hat in the ring. Segal won the prestigious award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2012.
It is the very newness of the marijuana baking business that seems to appeal to her. Segal said, "I see this being a new frontier for chefs like me. There is no turning back. There are going to be more people more talented than me, as talented as me, who are going to get into this industry. I'm excited to see where it's going."