Cooking with IEEE Spectrum: Homaro Cantu

An IEEE Spectrum Radio Special

IEEE Spectrum Radio
18 minutes, 8.3mb, recorded 2008-08-01
Homaro Cantu

In this special edition of IEEE Spectrum Radio, join Chef Homaro Cantu as he tells about his path to running one of the most innovative restaurants in the world.  From almost burning his house down making fried frozen hot dogs to patenting printed foods, Cantu has been blazing a trail to a bold new frontier.

It's impossible to describe a typical meal at Moto, Cantu's restaurant.  Not only is every one of the twenty courses surprising (including the first when you eat your menu), but the menu changes often.  Some themes include printed food, aerospace gels, making one food look like another, and turning liquids into solids or vice versa.  The emphasis on fun and innovation has given Moto ten times longer employee retention than other restaurants, and the food is draw from a network of local producers.  Cantu is just as concerned with innovation and the environment as he is with the dining experience.

Homaro Cantu is an inventor, entrepreneur, chef, and molecular gastronomer operates the Cantu Designs Firm in Chicago.  His restaurant, Moto, is famous for creating sushi using an inkjet printer. Rather than using conventional inkjet cartridges, he creates cartridges that are filled with organic, edible "inks." Mr. Cantu's design firm has been featured in the New York Times Magazine as well as some other national media, such as USA Today.

In a 2006 episode of Iron Chef America, Cantu defeated Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto in a battle with beets as the theme ingredient. The high technology Cantu used to create his dishes included a laser to caramelize edible packaging material, as well as liquid nitrogen to create beet "balloons."


This free podcast is from our IEEE Spectrum Radio series.

For The Conversations Network:

  • Post-production audio engineer: Mark Henry
  • Website editor: Peter Christensen
  • Series producer: Niels Mäkel