'James Beard Award' winning Chicago chef first to add cannabis to her cooking

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - To be a master chef, it's all about the ingredients you use and how you use them.

And now, one high-profile Chicago chef is adding something to her pastries that will give those who eat them a whole new sensation.

Mindy Segal is teaming up with Cresco Labs, which is the state's largest cannabis cultivator, to become the first James Beard Award winner to add cannabis to her cooking.

Segal hates being called a "celebrity chef."

"I'm not a celebrity. I'm just a girl who cooks and owns a restaurant,” she said.

She’s also the first James Beard Award winner to venture into the marijuana edibles industry.

We know what you're thinking: a pastry chef, so she must be making pot brownies.

"I’m not making pot brownies,” she said.

In fact, Segal is taking marijuana edibles to a whole new level.

"They are blends of very well crafted chocolates that will create flavor,” she said.

All of them are crafted and approved by one of the best pastry chef's in the country.

"Of course they will be amazing,” Segal said.

And you won't find the edibles at Segal's renowned restaurant ‘Mindy’s Hot Chocolate’ in Bucktown. They will be made at a Cresco Labs location in Joliet.

"In a controlled facility that will be licensed. They will be packaged appropriately by the laws of Illinois,” she said.

The treats Segal made for FOX 32 had just about everything, but the cannabis. However, she did give us an idea of what will be available to those who have the medical marijuana card.

"The idea is that some will be served in 4 dose packs, and some will be sold in individual dose packs,” she said. "They will look something like this, they are little bites."

The high-profile chef says reaction from industry peers has been very positive.

"They all want to be taste testers,” she said while laughing.

But all kidding aside, Segal says getting into the medical cannabis industry just seemed like the natural thing to do.

"I'm in the industry of making people feel good everyday by eating a great meal of drinking a great hot chocolate. So I feel like this goes hand and hand,” she said. "I feel like there is nothing better than me being able to provide my craft to people who are sick to make them feel good."

Segal's products will be available at licensed dispensaries in Illinois starting sometime in February. There are 3600 approved patients in Illinois. Almost 30-thousand have started the registration process.

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