Modern Gastronomy: A Revolution in Agriculture and the Culinary Arts

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Photo Credit: http://blogs.suntimes.com/food/2011/07
/motos_homaro_cantu_releasing_a.html

Speaker

Homaro Cantu is the Executive Chef for Moto Restaurant, a postmodern cuisine restaurant, and owner of Cantu Designs, which he uses to patent all of his inventions. Through his work, Cantu is revolutionizing how we approach, grow and interact with food. Cantu applies science and all the benefits that technological innovation can offer to transform our perception of food. For instance, Cantu has already published the first cookbook that uses the miracle berry to alter perception of sour and bitter foods, allowing the public to reduce consumption of sugar without sacrificing taste.

Session

This session would preferably be split across Tuesday and Thursday. On Tuesday, Homaru Cantu would give a talk based on how he transduces the conventional concept of food into something completely new. In his TED talk, Cantu talks about nachos that are a dessert because the chips are candied, the hamburger is really chocolate, the cheese is frozen mango sorbet and so on. On Thursday, the class would have a private booking at the Moto Restaurant in Chicago and experience this new approach and style of cooking firsthand. Cantu could give a live demonstration of how the items on the menu were crafted and give a behind the scenes tour to the class.

This talk would look at our role in transducing our food from ingredients to this concept of “food,” and could possibly link with another session to explore concepts of how food is transduced within our bodies when it is converted from food into our living flesh. Given that Homaro Cantu is pushing the boundaries of cooking and the notion of food, he would readily adapt to the concept of transduction and be able to interact with the class on a personal level.

Cuban Cigar Sandwhich

A Cuban sandwich made to look like a Cuban cigar – a prime example of Cantu’s approach to transforming our experience with food. Photo Credit: http://www.trendhunter.com/slideshow/kitchen-chemistry

This talk would be different from previous sessions because it will incorporate all of the human senses as an integral part of its delivery. Additionally, since eating is an essential everyday part of life, an investigation of this sort is sure to provide a refreshing viewpoint on an activity that gets little to no attention by the average consumer. Cantu’s lecture would also instigate a reflection of how seemingly simple tasks, such as cooking and eating, can, through the lens of transduction, be illuminated for new ideas and relationships to be perceived. This commonality would also ensure that everyone is able to understand and relate to the topic of the talk.

Resources

Watch Homaro Cantu’s TED talk.

Browse the Moto Restaurant website.  This site is extensive. The About page should be perused thoroughly.  There are multiple videos there that are worth watching.

Read about miracle berries:

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Joshua McCullough/Garden Picture Library via Getty Images

Proposed by Andrew Jones.