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Chicago Gourmet - bio: Homaro Cantu
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Homaro Cantu

Moto/iNG Restaurant

Chef Homaro Cantu is an internationally recognized chef and leader in the field of postmodern cuisine and an inventor of futuristic food delivery systems. 

Chef Cantu graduated from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon.  After developing his culinary skills at several establishments along the West Coast he traveled to Chicago to work at Charlie Trotter’s restaurant where he rose to the position of Sous Chef.  After he left Charlie Trotter’s he concentrated on the development of his concept of an experiential design based restaurant with a molecular gastronomy approach.  Moto Restaurant, one of Chicago’s most notable restaurants, puts Cantu’s concepts and creations into practice by melding food with science, technology and art to create an unmatched dining experience.  The New York Times described him as “a chef in the Buck Rogers tradition, blazing a trail to a space-age culinary frontier” and included one of his inventions among one of their best ideas of 2005.  Michael Eisner once described Cantu as the most revolutionary person in food since Ray Kroc. Several of Cantu’s patented inventions appear on display in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. Through his company Cantu Designs, Chef Cantu has filed numerous patent applications covering dining implements, cookware, printed food and is currently working on developing his inventions for commercial, humanitarian and aerospace applications. In addition to consulting on creativity and innovation to the Fortune 500, Chef Cantu’s innovative approach to cuisine and food delivery has influenced thought across several disciplines.  Chef Cantu and his “edible paper” have been featured in Gourmet (cover story October 2006), in Food and Wine (November 2006) as well as in the Wall Street Journal (June 2006) and American Scientist (August 2005) and was chosen as one of the best ideas of 2005 by The New York Times Magazine. Fast Company (May 2006) featured Chef Cantu and Cantu Designs in a cover story entitled “Weird Science” which praised his practice to running a small business and philanthropic goals. Cantu Designs’ interactive utensils were part of the exhibit “Feeding Desire, Design and Tools of the Table, 1500-2005” at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, and currently appear in Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry as part of their “Fast Forward, Inventing The Future” Exhibit.
 
Chef Cantu’s television appearances include “Battle Beets – Morimoto vs Cantu” on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America (defeated Morimoto), Dinner: Impossible, Good Deal with Dave Leiberman, Roker on the Road, the Ellen DeGeneres Show, TODAY, The Early Show, MSNBC, WGN News, Chicago Tonight, and dozens of local Chicago news and lifestyle programs.  In under 6 years he has been featured in over 1000 articles in 37 countries including The New York Times, USA TODAY, The LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, Esquire, Maxim, Chicago, Wallpaper and Dwell. 
 
In 2010 along with his sidekick Pastry Chef Ben Roche, Cantu created and produced his first television series for Discovery Network’s Planet Green titled Future Food. In over 55 million homes, Future Food displayed Cantu’s ingenious knack for thinking outside the box and apply his ingenuity to global food issues.
 
In 2011 Chef Cantu opened iNG Restaurant. iNG is the worlds first restaurant that offers flavor changing gastronomy. This approach to food has been hailed by Diane Sawyer on World News Tonight as “An idea that will change the direction of food for years to come.” Dr. Sanjay Gupta from CNN described Cantu’s approach at iNG as “Transforming the way we think about food in brave new worlds”. In just over a year being open, iNG has been the subject of hundreds of articles around the world.
 
Current projects for Chef Cantu include working on his first book titled The Miracle Berry Diet Cook Book, building a multi-million dollar design and prototyping laboratory dedicated to disruptive green food technologies and addressing global food challenges such as obesity and famine. Cantu anticipates both projects to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2012. Chef Cantu has also been asked by the Museum of Science and Industry to design an interactive exhibit for display through 2016 that will feature his research on The Miracle Berry as a viable way to dramatically decrease the need for refined sugar.

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