Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » February 2005 » Techno-Chefs

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02/03/2005: Techno-Chefs

This falls under the heading of Places I'd like to Go...Just haven't had the chance:

WTTW's (Channel 11) had a restaurant feature on "Chicago Tonight" called Moto, a truly "unique, science-based culinary dining experience."

945 w. Futon Market
Chicago, Illinois 60607

He's part Charlie Trotter - and part Mr. Wizard -- but he's certainly not your average, ordinary chef...he's the Chicago proprietor of one the hottest restaurants in the country... Chef Homaro Cantu at Moto goes so far out on a limb, no one's ever used the word "restraint" to describe him. His kitchen is unlike any other. The garde-manager-a cool, well-ventilated area where cold dishes are prepared-is dwarfed by four cylinders (two of carbon dioxide, one of helium, and one of liquid nitrogen) that look big enough to power a space probe. There are stacks of strange-looking clear boxes that might contain lab mice. But no; they're Cantu's self-cooking ovens, which thanks to an ingenious layer of polymer, retain heat for up to six hours if unopened. Cantu brings a box to 350 degrees in an oven, slides in a piece of fish, and then it's delivered to your table, where, through a couple of courses, you watch it cook. Right now he's thinking of food that levitates. He is working on ways to invisibly support food, including injecting helium into foams and spherical encapsulations that would be lighter than air. Cantu is also thinking about an inflated ball of helium that will spin and release food-friendly perfume. Aroma, you understand, is the next frontier," Says one reviewer.

(This is one place we're definitely going to have to get a reservation to eat at --So...If you're ever coming to Chicago, Len & Brock, we're going!)

To read further about this most unusual restaurant click on the "more" button below.

"The son of an engineer, Cantu says he's always had an interest in mechanics. "I still ask all the questions that every kid asks, " he says. "Whatever you think can't be done might be entirely possible. It should, at least be investigated." And investigate he does: Thus far, he has applied for 30 patents - for everything from a cylinder that carbonates solid food to a pressurized polymer box that steams fish at your table. And while the chef admits that theatrics play a role in the Moto experience, he's not kidding when it comes to his global food. "The flavor needs to be there," he says. "Otherwise it's nothing more than a circus act.

"Moto is an Asian influenced, degustation focused restaurant dedicated to the avant-garde cuisine of Chef Homaro Cantu. At moto dining is an interactive, multi-sensory experience unlike any other. Our minimalist decor - warm whites accented with chocolate and cinnamon - allows diners to focus on the main attraction: Chef Cantu's food. With his philosophy of pushing the limits of known taste, texture, and technique, Chef Cantu provides our guests with a truly unique and exquisite dining experience."

"They're young. They're smart. They've got impeccable restaurant pedigrees and imagination to match. And now three talented Chicago chefs are leading a science-based culinary revolution from their lab-like kitchens," says reviewer, Jonathan Black.

Check out a peek at the Menu for MOTO at this link. Sounds like dining experience unlike any other.

Karen on 02.03.05 @ 07:09 AM CST

Replies: 3 comments

on Thursday, February 3rd, 2005 at 8:15 AM CST, Len Cleavelin said

Well, to give you an idea how often I get to Chicago, the last time I was there was in June of 1998, in order to see Kraftwerk perform live. Unfortunately, the Dusseldorf Man-Machines didn't stop in the Windy City during their latest tour (the closest they got to me, it seems, was Toronto, and that was just not feasible last year), or I might have made it back (the temptation would have been irresistable).

However, if someone would get me tickets to a Cards-Cubs game (assuming Wrigley doesn't crumble to dust this season, which is part of the fun of going, I imagine), I might be tempted.


on Thursday, February 3rd, 2005 at 8:46 AM CST, Karen McLauchlan said

A Cubs-cardinals Game...Hmmm...But who could I root for? Me to win...and you to lose? Or You to win and me to lose? Could be toughie...but worth some further consideration...

on Thursday, February 3rd, 2005 at 10:02 AM CST, Len Cleavelin said

You may root for the Cubs, of course. Because cutting class to go to Wrigley was the only thing that I remember about law school with any affection (well, that and the Chicago Reader and "The Straight Dope") I don't bear the strong animus against the Cubs or their fans that other Cards fans do.

February 2005

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