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Homaro Cantu
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An innovator in post-modern cuisine and an internationally recognized leader in molecular gastronomy, Cantu is a Michelin-rated chef and the owner of Chicago’s critically acclaimed moto restaurant and its sister restaurant iNG Restaurant. Starting from humble beginnings, Cantu started his career on the West Coast before completing a four year tenure at Chicago’s legendary Charlie Trotter’s as Sous Chef. Cantu’s out-of-the-box thinking and futuristic culinary approach pushes limits in a way that combines science with art. In his new cookbook The Miracle Berry Diet Cookbook, Cantu unveils the amazing properties of the organic, all-natural miracle berry, which allows users to eliminate sugar in their favorite recipes. He is the TV star of Discovery Channel’s Planet Green and Future Food, winner of Iron Chef America and appears on his own the webseries CookiNG under PRESSURE. Cantu has been featured in numerous media outlets such as Good Morning America, the New York Times and Rolling Stone, among thousands of others. For more information please visit http://www.motorestaurant.com/category/team/

Entries by Homaro Cantu

A 3D Food Printer? Not in Moto's Kitchen

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2014 | 12:24 PM

3D printed food belongs in space. Not in the kitchen.

There, I said it. The guy who brought edible menus, handheld ovens and a robotic laser to the dinner table. Mr. Disruptive Food and Technology thinks 3D printed food won't make your food better.

It's great...

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Remembering Charlie Trotter: Oui Chef

(3) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 7:20 AM

"More truffles, MORE TRUFFLES! What are you thinking? This is absurd Omar! We have to be generous with this!"

Did he just say that? Those white truffles go for two thousand dollars a pound! Damn! OK, "YES, CHEF!" That's how you make it in a restaurant like Charlie Trotters,...

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(VIDEO) Food Arts: A World of Art in Science, Food as Digital Art

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 2:17 PM

At the age of 16 my stepmom took me out for lunch at Chez Panisse. I had smoked salmon with Asparagus and Hollandaise. Up until that point in my life I didn't really care for salmon and asparagus wasn't really something I cared for. And I had no clue what...

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The Significance of the Cherry Blossom: From Beloved Tree to Cultural Icon

(0) Comments | Posted August 30, 2013 | 5:20 PM

Check out the video that accompanies this article: http://youtu.be/vI2nzUK35X0

The cherry blossom tree is truly a sight to behold, especially when it is in full riotous bloom. There are several varieties of the cherry blossom tree, and while most of them produce flowering branches full of small pinkish-hued flowers, some...

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Meet the Chef: Tim Havidic of iNG Answers Your Questions

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 12:39 PM

At iNG, Chef Tim Havidic brings style and substance to the kitchen. His innovative flair and creative eye have helped turn iNG into one of Chicago's premier dining destinations for modern and unique cuisine.

Here Chef Havidic answers some of fans' top questions about life as a chef and what...

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Wood-Pellet Grilling Is Fast and Flavorful

(1) Comments | Posted August 14, 2013 | 2:04 PM

Why Grillers in the Know are Ditching Charcoal and Propane

What's your favorite way to grill?

Whether you are new to the scene or a long-time grillmaster, everyone has unique preferences when it comes to their cooking method of choice. From propane to charcoal to wood, people take their...

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How Street Food Become Haute Cuisine

(1) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 6:52 PM

From food trucks to hot dog stands to county fair favorites, "street food" has enjoyed a rich and storied history in American cuisine. However, street food has been around for thousands of years. In fact, street food is believed to have originated as far back as Ancient Rome. Only wealthy...

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Looking at Life from a Kid's Point of View

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 6:15 PM

Check out the video that accompanies this article.

I am a firm believer that if you can explain it to a kid, you're on the right track. Maybe I was a little slow in school. But if it didn't make simple sense to me, I just gave up...

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Thinking Outside the Box

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 4:17 PM

Unemployment was the best thing that ever happened to me.

People often think that losing your job is one of the worst things that can happen to someone. And, in some cases, that might be true. But for me, unemployment can be the time and the motivation to finally...

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Meet the Top Chef Who Calls moto Home

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2013 | 12:41 PM

Meet Richard Farina, Chef de Cuisine at moto. His culinary skills landed him a spot on Season 8 of Bravo's Top Chef and his work has reached hundreds of national television and print outlets, including The Travel Channel's No Reservations, The Today Show, CNN's Next List, The New York Times...

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What I Would Choose as My Last Meal

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 12:52 PM

Have you ever thought about what you would choose as your last meal?

As a chef, you might imagine that my last meal would come out of my own kitchen or that I might want the dish to come from a five-star restaurant or from a world-renowned chef. Not...

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The Miracle Berry Conspiracy

(5) Comments | Posted April 11, 2013 | 1:14 PM

Check out this video all about the miracle berry and its amazing potential at: https://vimeo.com/10834582

I love a great conspiracy story. Who doesn't? How about one that no one knows about that is 100 percent true?

In 1977 Donald Rumsfeld was the CEO of a company...

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Made Tableside

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2013 | 11:06 AM

Cookie dough made tableside? It's not too good to be true! Check out the video:

When we think of classic American desserts, we tend to imagine apple pie and ice cream. However, the most classic American dessert of all might be the chocolate chip cookie. The first chocolate chip cookie was invented right here in America in 1930.

A woman named Ruth Whitman created the recipe at the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts, and after receiving hearty approval from her guests and her family and friends, she published the recipe and eventually chocolate chip cookies made their way across the country. Almost a century later, this cookie is still a beloved favorite. In fact, it is estimated that half of the cookies baked in American homes are chocolate chip cookies.

At moto, I love to find a way to marry to the old and new, a way to make a classic dish taste fresh and innovative while still maintaining the integrity of the dish. For this dessert, I turned to my talented executive pastry chef, Claire Crenshaw. As always, she came through, this time with completely inspired chocolate cookie recipe that is certainly unlike anything you have ever enjoyed while dining out.

Baking 101: Cookie Dough Made Tableside

Don't worry, you aren't going to end up covered in flour and eggs if you order this unexpected dish. We bring all the ingredients and the recipe card right to you, and with a few simple steps, you can create fresh cookie dough all while sitting at your table and enjoying a glass of wine. If only baking was always this easy!

The moto Chocolate Chip recipe:

2 tablespoons Whipped Butter
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Egg
2 teaspoon AP Flour
Chocolate Chips

First, you mix the flour and sugar together. Then you stir in the egg, and add the AP flour to combine. Mix in the most important ingredient (chocolate chips!) and then enjoy. Of course, we serve this dish with ice cold milk in order to make it a really decadent and classic treat.

If you think licking the spoon is the best part of baking or making chocolate chip cookies, then this is the ideal dessert for you. At moto, the old rule of "Don't play with your food" is obsolete. Here, we not only play with our food, we encourage our guests to do the same...so go ahead and let your inner kid out to play. We won't...

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Let Your Taste Buds Take You Back in Time

(0) Comments | Posted March 23, 2013 | 2:52 PM

Check out The Wonder Years episode of Cooking Under Pressure:

Most of us have fond memories of food from our childhood. Whether it was our mom's homemade lasagna or a memorable chocolate birthday cake, food has a way of transporting us back to the past. A familiar scent or flavor can suddenly take us back to the kitchen in our childhood home or back to that summer when cherry popsicles were a daily staple.

In order to harness the time-traveling powers of food, I decided to create a nostalgic menu at ing. We change our menu every six weeks, and keeping things fresh and inventive is both challenging and rewarding. For this particular challenge, I decided to go with the theme of The Wonder Years, a classic 1980s television show that was beloved by kids and adults alike.

When looking for inspiration for this Wonder Years menu, I turned to a Southern favorite and an American classic: Chicken and waffles. Of course, at ing, we can't just go with the everyday, boring recipe! Instead, I had to step up this creation, so I came up with Duck Pave served with Kentucky Fried Whipped Cream and Amber Syrup.

First, we take the duck legs and sear them off, just until they are lightly browned. Then we remove the meat and squeeze out plenty of the grease, after which we dip it in buttermilk and flour. Next, we spice the pave with our signature spice-mix made of 11 herbs and spices, including pepper, sage, nutmeg, paprika, cardamom and many more.

We use the same mixture of spices on the Kentucky fried whipped cream, which is our lighter take on ice cream. Made with heavy cream, it is as flavorful and rich as ice cream, but less heavy and overpowering. We also serve the waffles and whipped cream with our very own amber syrup, a completely sugar free syrup which is made with apple cider vinegar and the Japanese fruit, yuzu.

So how does this sugar-free concoction taste sweet? That's where the flavor-tripping comes in! The whole creation ends up tasting as sweet as real syrup because our guests first eat the miracle berry before tasting it. The miracle berry blocks our sour receptors and makes otherwise tart and bitter foods taste sweet, meaning that we can enjoy delicious and "sweet" desserts without actually eating any sugar. (Read more about the miracle berry here.)

However, the miracle berry isn't the only way that we cut unnecessary sugar at ing. For us, flavor always comes before heavy, fattening fare, and that's how I came up with the Almond Joy Dessert. Almond Joys are a childhood favorite, but most of us could do without all those grams of sugar, especially when trying to instill healthy habits in our kids.

Enter ing's take on the Almond Joy, which is a creation made with broccoli ice cream (yes, broccoli!), carrot chips, chocolate syrup, coconut macaroons and toasted almonds. While diners are at first daunted by the idea of ice cream made with broccoli, once they taste it, they are convinced -- thought it's made with broccoli puree, it's also sweetened with milk, honey and almond extract, so it looks and tastes just like pistachio flavored ice cream. It's a great way to get kids -- or even grown-ups who still shudder at the idea of eating their greens -- to enjoy their veggies.

Dishes that will take you back to your childhood, tantalize your tastebuds, and keep you healthy and fit? Our menu certainly lives up its wondrous...

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Zero Mile Gastronomy: This Isn't Your Grandma's Garden

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2013 | 11:47 PM

Previous generations used to eat locally out of necessity. Without options like flash-freezing and worldwide export services, communities had to rely on local farms for all of their meals. In many ways, this was beneficial. People ate fresh, seasonal foods that were naturally flavorful and nutritious, and farmers and communities...

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Want To Be A Molecular Gastronomist For A Day?

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2013 | 9:59 AM

Cooking classes are a great way to hone your skills, learn new recipes, and meet like-minded friends. Spending time in the kitchen with people who love to cook as much as you do is fun and educational.

Lots of the cooking classes open to non-professionals are too low level...

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The Power Of The Miracle Berry

(1) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 1:01 PM

What's better than a frosty vanilla cone on a hot summer day, or a rich slice of warm chocolate cake after a luxurious dinner? Sweet treats are as much a part of our culture as they are our taste palettes, and it can sometimes seem as though sugary snacks are...

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