Moto Prepares Future Food on Planet Green

March 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Planet Green has a new TV show coming up, Future Food, and it stars Chicago chefs Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche of Moto, in the West Loop area. At a tasting party/show kick-off Monday night, the traditional and online press were invited to sample some very unique food artifacts, capitalizing on the trend in molecular gastronomy.

This include Cuban cigar sandwiches shaped and decorated to look like cigar stubs. These were, of course, served in ashtrays, replete with “ash” made of sesame seed and pepper. Liquid nitrogen-soaked edible packing peanuts (corn-starch based) infused with vanilla were served atop blood orange dreamsicle beverages, the result being a great shot of vapor flying out noses and mouths all over the restaurant.

A duck and mole cannoli appetizer, faux sushi made from rabbit, Brussels sprouts, risotto and other forest foods, beef bouillon in a beaker (really a test tube) with peas and carrots, a reuben lasagna on a spoon and a corn chip menu printed with edible ink on which one could squirt liquid cheese from an extended eye-dropper rounded off the meal of incredible appetizers. Desert included a fois gras cupcake (really, it was a savory part of the appetizers, but it was made in cupcake molds and topped with pistachio cream and pelletized vegetables that looked like sprinkles), and cherry bombs made of chocolate wrapped around a liquefied graham cracker and cherry milkshake with dehydrated marshmallow in the shape of a fuse that was lit on fire.

Chefs Roche and Cantu did a fantastic, creative job and their enthusiastic band of assistants were friendly and fun to watch as they went about their antics in the kitchen and testing facility. It was a blast. Was it local? Heck , yeah. It’s in Chicago, isn’t it? Was it green? Well. Um. I guess if eating your menu instead of throwing it in a landfill counts as recycling, then sure. Is all of this the food of the future? I can only HOPE we all have access to personal vats of liquid nitrogen in the near future, because it’s really fun to play with.

Putting this show on the Planet Green cable network is about as appropriate as the History Channel airing a series about lumberjacks. But who really cares? The show is fun to watch, with plenty of footage of Chicago streets and the cool testing facility, with a wall mural of the period table of the elements. Omar and Ben and their gung-ho staff are fascinating to follow as they embark upon their madcap adventures. Here’s a link to a much more in-depth article (with photos) about the event and the show.