By David Ponce
[A little old, but what the heck.]
It was really only a matter of time until an enterprising chef took modern technological tools and started integrating them in his cooking but 29-year-old executive chef Homaro Cantu, working at Moto restaurant in Chicago, is taking things to a whole other dimension.
Perhaps Cantu’s greatest innovation at Moto is a modified Canon i560 inkjet printer (which he calls the “food replicator” in homage to Star Trek) that prints flavoured images onto edible paper. The print cartridges are filled with food-based “inks”, including juiced carrots, tomatoes and purple potatoes, and the paper tray contains sheets of soybean and potato starch. The printouts are flavoured by dipping them in a powder of dehydrated soy sauce, squash, sugar, vegetables or sour cream, and then they are frozen, baked or fried.
The most common printed dish at Moto is the menu. It can literally whet your appetite by providing a taste test of what’s on the menu: tear off and eat a picture of a cow and it will taste like filet mignon. Once you are done with your sampling, the menu can be torn up and thrown into a bowl of soup – but only once you’ve ordered your two-dimensional sushi which consists of photos of maki rolls sprinkled on the back with soy and seaweed flavouring.
Other “innovations” include the use of a Class IV laser, superconductors and handheld ion particle guns. It’s fascinating stuff, really, and you should read the whole article. Unfortunately, very little is said about how this stuff tastes, though to justify the $65 to $160 prices, it better give me a mouth orgasm.