NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — Niagara County Community College says it already has students enrolled in its first-ever culinary cannabis class.
The class, offered at the college's Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, is designed to educate chefs on safely creating cannabis-based dishes and edibles.
Chef Nathan Koscielski, an Associate Professor at the college, is leading the course. Kolscieski was part of the first-ever Specialization Certificate in Culinary Cannabis and Edibles from the American Culinary Federation. The certification is held by only 50 chefs in the country.
“Many states are legalizing cannabis for recreational use. I want the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute and NCCC to be the gold standard when it comes to professional culinary cannabis education,” Koscieski said in a statement. “I understand that this is a controversial topic and there are stigmas, but I am approaching this from an educational perspective with a focus on safety as more chefs and culinarians enter this growing space.”
Koscielski cannot offer any hands-on training, because recreational marijuana is not yet legal in New York State. Instead, the class focuses on proper handling of THC- and non-THC-based ingredients, including CBD and hemp. Students also learn why different strains of marijuana smell and taste differently, and how to determine the proper pairing of cannabis with different dishes. Students also work through science and math topics relevant to the process of using cannabis in cooking.
NCCC reports the course has had 100% attendance since the beginning of the semester.