Homaro Cantu: eat the menu

Homaro_cantu_1_2Homaro Cantu is a food revolutionary, a molecular gastronomist, who is out to change perceptions about food. His objective is to entice 21st century diners to embrace food differently. 

Today, he will use clips of his appearance on Iron Chef with demonstrations of how each dish is made on a side screen.

It's amazing how many ways - including printing it - that cotton candy can take shape.

Cantu Designs is a consulting firm for edible ideas. He wants us to consume his tasting menu, literally. He also suggests that these food inventions could also be used for example to print foods for long space missions.

It all began with an idea: can you eat your menu?

The next course is a sushi roll dipped in liquid nitrogen.

The Iron Chef clip is intense. The soup and salad is liquid. Faux-champagne is made by combining before the diner two grapes in the same glass; the result is the same fizzy drink one associates with champagne.

"We like to play your with syringes and so on," he says. "It sparks creativity." He's also created a energy saving miniature oven that will remain hot for a very long, so food can continue to cook on the countertop. He says that it's the worlds most perfect oven because it's small and the heat transfer is extremely efficient. It will cook food in the palm of our hand.

He demonstrates how goat cheese and beets can be blended and frozen, leading to something that looks like cake but will melt in you mouth.

He says that his goal is for each diner is to remember each course for ten years, calling it at one point, "attention deficit disorder dining."

The next picture of some foods use liquid nitrogen to produce food snow.

He also points out that 75 percent of our sense of taste comes through the nose.

He demonstrates a greek salad unlike anything I've ever seen, combining freeze dried shallot power that goes into a centrifuge for mixing.

Thai fried rice noodles were next on the menu. Using liquid nitrogen, the Thai pork was turned into noodles. He also demonstrates how he uses a laser to caramelize food. The laser can also be used to bore holes through food, raising other possibilities for food production and presentation, he adds.

He said it was important to give people a reference so that they have some idea about what they're about to eat. It cold be color or shape to tip off the diner.

They need it.

He shows a dish made of charcoaled white bread over which he pours a sauce; it's a barbecue dish. The understanding of the physics of food is obviously extremely important to him and he talks about the physical processes quite a bit.

The next statement takes me a bit by surprise: "How we get to Mars will require us to think about food." Cutting back to the Iron Chef segment, he shows a sous-chef pouring a liquid into a printer to produce a desert.

In a nod to another culinary artist, he also shows us the preparation of green eggs and ham.

The goal with much of his experimentation is to be able to print food in three dimensions to overcome the problem of transporting food - and during the question and answer session he offers a strong defense of the "green" credentials of his methods. He only uses organic products in his cooking.

Wayne

Wikipedia: Homaro Cantu