BY JULIA SAVIGNANO
In this fast-moving landscape of cannabis innovations, Rose Delights stands out as a voice for slow culture. Founded on an ethos of care for the earth and the people, Rose Delights releases new Turkish delight-style edibles according to the seasons, crafted by renowned chefs and featuring the highest quality ingredients—both fruit and flower. Each release spotlights a different single strain in the form of simple, unprocessed whole flower rosin, pressed in-house. This solventless pure rosin preserves all the valuable therapeutic compounds of the plant for the body, not to mention the flavors of the flower and its terroir. So it was just a matter of time before legendary Chef Enrique Olvera sought them out for his first cannabis collaboration: two new limited-release flavors for Rose Delights’ seasonal offerings.
Chef Enrique Olvera established himself as a visionary starting with his first restaurant Pujol, the Mexico City icon currently ranking 12th in the world, according to 2019’s The World’s Best Restaurants. He has redefined Mexican haute cuisine with his focus on local ingredients and nurtured an entirely new generation of chefs. With celebrated restaurants in cities throughout Mexico, as well as Cosme and Alta in New York City, Chef Olvera rose to the challenges of 2020 by successfully opening not one, but two new restaurants in downtown Los Angeles: Damian, and its backdoor taqueria sibling, Ditroit.
This collaboration between kindred spirits has resulted in two of the most delicious, elevated takes on purple gas. The Hachiya Persimmon, Hibiscus, and Pujol Tamarind (Ponche) flavor is Chef Olvera’s homage to ponche, or traditional Mexican punch. Tamarind paste from the Pujol kitchen was brought over personally by Chef Olvera to blend with the persimmons from Blossom Bluff Orchards, which were slowly ripened until scarlet and soft. To infuse the recipe with the perfect indica-dominant rosin, a GSC X Chem strain was cultivated by multigenerational growers Sula Nichols and her son, Torre Stromberger, at their farm in Covelo, California. The resulting tangy-sweet edible is unlike any other.
Its lively sativa companion is the Poached Pear in Chile Ancho. Each delight glitters with a vibrant Ancho chili powder, straight from the Pujol kitchen. It gives an ingenious kick to the green D’Anjou pears, which were harvested in peak season by Mt. Hood Organics and poached in Koch mezcal until only the deep smoky flavor remained. The whole flower rosin here is an Orange Acai with a stunning terpenic profile, grown at Sonoma Hills Farms by Andrew Keefer, a former culinary gardener for the French Laundry. The consideration behind both edibles is palpable.
We were psyched to correspond with Chef Olvera about this wild collaboration.
EMBER: To begin, what drew you to Rose Delights for your first partnership in cannabis?
CHEF ENRIQUE OLVERA: I found similarities between our practices and the way Rose Delights is establishing healthy relationships with the farmers, that is one of the most valuable things for me. From there, we moved forward and had fun playing with the flavors.
What inspired these flavors?
These are familiar flavors, for example: we all know the comforting smell of ponche on a cold December morning, right before Christmas. It's a hot drink made with fruits and different spices that are cooked for hours. You’re finding sweetness here, but also the acidity given by the hibiscus and the tamarind paste.
Tell us about your choice of ingredients, like the chili ancho from the Pujol kitchen. How do they synergize in the edible?
We tried to build flavors where the chosen strain would have a well-balanced environment to live in. What we like about chile ancho is how its smoky and sweet taste pairs with the sour of the pears.
Rose Delights is known for their unique single strain, whole-flower pressed rosins. What were the rosins like to work with as ingredients?
The rosins are very aromatic, the mechanical extraction neutralizes the bitterness that this ingredient may have and lets us perceive all the flavors in it.
How do you see the intersection of the culinary and cannabis worlds evolving?
It’s hard to tell how exactly things will evolve with cannabis but every interdisciplinary intersection is always a window to imagine new things. This collaboration was really interesting because we had to imagine how we could translate the use of some regular ingredients in our kitchen for this collab with Rose Delights.
How do you feel about the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Mexico? Where do you see things going moving forward?
Things are moving along. It’s a great thing that we are beginning to question Mexico’s policies governing public use of marijuana.
Congratulations on the opening of restaurants Damian and Ditroit here in DTLA! Any dishes you are currently most excited about?
We are really happy about our menu, Chef Luis Arellano from Oaxaca just came to visit us in LA and we made some adjustments together. My favorites right now are the Uni tostada caesar salad, Tlayuda zucchini with shrimp shells and the Tetela creamed bloomsdale spinach.
Lastly, for the chef… any all-time favorite “munchies” dish?
Tacos al pastor.
You can find Chef Enrique Olvera's new Rose Delights flavors at your local MedMen store and in our online shop.