Interview with Homaro Cantu of Future Food

Planet Green’s new cooking series, Future Food, may be the best kid’s food TV show around. The show, premiering on Tuesday, March 30th at 10pm on Planet Green, isn’t slotted as a kid’s show – but it should be. – after all, even the press release calls it ” a unique blend of Mythbusters meets Willy Wonka.”

It follows Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche of Chicago’s Moto Restaurant as they practice real world molecular gastronomy, serving up the results to their customers. These are mad scientists disguised as chefs, creating whimsical, fun food in their lab, with the only requirement being that it tastes good. If you think that creative processes cannot be captured on food TV, think again.

Is the program stage-y?


Is it grasping at those tiresome reality TV stereotypes that require each new competition show to sketch characters in simplistic terms?


But does it matter?

Not much. As soon as the producers iron out the distractions, and get down to focusing on the fun of creating food and unraveling a chef’s unique thought process, they’ll have a winner.

Meantime, Super Chef got a sneak peak at the premier episode. The Moto team take on the challenge of creating seafood dishes without any fish, because the chefs were unsatisfied with the quality of seafood, and to focus attention on the plight of the world’s seafood stocks. Homaro and Ben take the newly invented dishes to Mitsuwa Market sushi customers. Then there is a competition for the best dish among the restaurant’s chefs, and (no spoiler here).
Super Chef recently spoke with Homaro about the new show:

Super Chef: How did Future Food get started?
Homaro: It’s stuff we do everyday. We have always been into video blogs, posting them on YouTube. A production company saw them and we hooked up.

Super Chef: What’s your motivation?
Homaro: We did it because it was fun. If you are passionate about something, you do it well. It nothing like anything I have seen on TV. We are making the case for molecular gastronomy. The key thing is that it is authentic.

Super Chef: How do you see Food TV fitting into your work? Why are you doing this?
Homaro: We are passionate. Planet Green is the most passionate network. Ever since we opened, we have always thought very green. Our menu is edible.
I am a very green-minded person. But if molecular gastronomy is not the most delicious food, then it’s just a gimmick. In all our reviews the press says our food is delicious.

Super Chef: What other food TV shows have you watched and admired?
Homaro: Top Chef Mythbuster, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Mashed them all together and you get close to our show. We are about social responsibility and going green. We translate that to the home viewer.

Super Chef: Who is your audience? What do you expect them to learn?
Homaro: We have kids dragging their parents to dine at Moto. We have people who are retired.

Super Chef: Tell us about your ideas for the first episode on fish-less fish.
Homaro: The whole point is to explain it in simple terms. It is about awakening people to having seafood without fishing.

Super Chef: In the episode you have a science lab right in your restaurant: how do you finance that?
Homaro‘: I also have Cantu Design. I consult with large food corporations on product development and efficiency.

Super Chef wonders whether watching Future Food will be assigned to Harvard students as part of Jose Andres and Ferran Adria‘s new culinary physics course?

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