Entrepreneur Konstanze Zeller is opening her Colonial home for a special eight-course dinner this month. The “Winter Feast” will feature a plant-based menu infused with full-spectrum cannabidiol (CBD) oil, including cocktails, appetizers and special chocolates for dessert. Zeller is head of Cocorau, a wellness company that specializes in raw cacao bites and adaptogenic elixir powders, both containing CBD from organically grown hemp.
As the medicinal properties of hemp are increasingly recognized (the primary ones being the plant’s anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects), CBD is showing up in a variety of products, but the concept of cooking with hemp may still seem a little too counterculture for some people. “Winter Feast” – to be catered by the Upstate Table, using Hudson Hemp’s full-spectrum CBD to create a mood-altering, healthful meal – could quell any misconceptions.
When Zeller bought the 300-year-old stone house in Marbletown in October 2016, she had been looking for a fixer-upper that could be restored. The property had a functional well, but over the next few months, most other basic systems needed to be replaced: all electric, the heating system and a new roof. Zeller lived in the structure while the work was underway so that she could manage the transformation.
“I don’t like what they do when they flip houses,” she says, referring to covering over or replacing everything with shiny modern materials and hardware. “Some of my best friends are architects and interior designers. They helped. A stone house is a different animal than a regular house. Everybody told me, ‘You’ll have gray hair when you get done.’ But I had amazing contractors, and I had fun doing it.”
Originally thinking she’d renovate the barn to turn it into an event space, Zeller soon realized that doing the house right would drain her finances – so the barn project is on hold. No matter. Events are already taking place at 7M2K, the new moniker that refers to an old sign out front that read “Seven miles to Kingston.”
“A friend introduced me to the idea of hiring a great chef and getting a few sponsors, too, to hold dinners at the house. This is a dinner that is very much in my heart. It goes with the concept of my company. Hudson Hemp [an association of Hudson Valley farmers] will do an educational talk about cannabis, and will work with the chefs to make sure the doses of CBD are right. Not everything will be infused. Adaptogens will be used, too. We’ll have vegan cheese from Cheese Hound in Andes – it’s the most amazing vegan cheese; I think it competes with French cheese.”
When asked about the effects of heating CBD oil, she explains that it will be incorporated primarily in sauces, to avoid overheating the oil. “I do believe it’s better to take the oil raw. The dinner will be totally plant-based – very colorful and tasty. A lot of people want to detoxify after the holidays. It’s important to give your body a break, especially after the holidays.”
Seating is limited in the two picturesque dining rooms; reservations are being taken for up to 25 people.