Friday, May 21, 2010

The Future of Food – It is a changing

by Epiphany

I sat flipping through the channels the other night, I came upon a marathon of the television program Future Food. The chefs behind it are what the show producers describe as "molecular gastronomists". Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche of the Chicago based Moto restaurant have come up with incredible ways to eat healthier, save the Earth and basically redefine how Joe Public views eating.

Save the Earth one meal at a time, you say? In one of the episodes they showed Tuesday night, our world renowned chefs used packing peanuts as the base for a full course meal, from soup to dessert. According to Food Foodies, the peanuts were “cornstarch-based nuggets that tasted like popcorn”. They were there for the launch of this extraordinary leap into the future of fighting world hunger, eliminating waste and reconstructing food as we know it. The same peanuts were also used at the beginning of the show to mail a glass vase to the restaurant. It arrived later that evening unshattered.

The next episode showed Omar and Ben acting as sensibly as mad food Scientists can. They came up with healthy replacements for junk food. A granola bar became the basis for french fries and chips for dipping and a healthy protein drink became the ketchup and so on. They then tested these wares out on the multitude of tourists visiting the Willis Tower (the tallest) in Chicago. Everyone, it seemed, was thrilled to sample healthy junk food and wanted more.

One of the interesting things about this show, besides the leap into the unknown, is that this unconventional eatery is set up to function as a lab or research facility and a restaurant which boosts a seemingly large kitchen. Most of the Moto chefs are instrumental in developing new ways to tease the palette as well as waiting tables to ensure that all patron's questions can be answered thoroughly.

I believe they are on to something big, so give them a look or if you are in the Chicago area, stop by the restaurant. I am sure they are always looking for willing guinea pigs. Hey, if they can figure how to feed people, waste less and help us live longer, I say do it - where do I sign up?

Future Food is aired on Planet Green every Tuesday night at 10:00 pm.

Here are a few links:

Chips and Salsa

Recipe by: Ben Roche and Darrell Nemeth

Junk food can be good for you, or at least thats what the chefs at Moto think! Here we have a recipe for Chips and Salsa... made out of granola bars.

BTW: Recipe from Planet Green/Discovery Channel link to Future Food
Photo: Stock Xchng

Chips & Salsa

Recipe by: Ben Roche and Darrell Nemeth


For Chips:

6 ?honey-almond granola bars?

1 tablespoon salt

4 egg whites (possibly 2 more if needed)

1 teaspoon cumin seed

1/2 a teaspoon black pepper

For salsa:

4, 10 ounce bottles of Green ?super? smoothie (which will produce about 1 cup of pulp)

1 cup water

1 small bunch cilantro ? 1 small bunch

1/2 an onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic

1 tomato

2 tablespoons salt

1 jalepeno

1 tablespoon Agar-agar


For Chips:

Freeze-dry granola bars overnight.

Combine all ingredients (granola, salt, egg whites, cumin and black pepper) in a food processor and blend to create a paste. If mixture is too thick to become a paste, add additional egg whites until it works.

Spread this mixture out on parchment paper (or non-stick silicone baking mat) in a thin layer, approximately 1/4 inch thick.

Using a wooden skewer or a dull knife, ?cut? lines into the spread batter so that after they bake, you will be able to remove them as individual chips.

Bake at 300 degrees F until browned and dry.

Allow chips to cool, remove from tray

For Salsa

Pour super smoothies into a large-format centrifuge and spin until totally separated, about 10 minutes.

Decant liquid from separated juice, reserve separately from the solid mass leftover.

Combine solid leftover mass from centrifuge with all other ingredients (water, cilantro, onion, tomato, garlic, salt, jalepeno and agar-agar) in a blender and blend for 2 minutes.

Pour into a pot, bring to a boil, stirring and scraping bottom of pot periodically.

Allow to simmer for approximately 2 minutes, pour out into a shallow container and chill either over an ice bath or in the refrigerator.

Once chilled and firm, stir and break up with a fork.

Serve with chips

Planet Green Editor's Note: for the purposes of the Future Food show, this recipe involved us using a centrifuge and a freeze-dryer to produce it. You could make the chips similarly by blending various whole grains with salt, pepper, spices and egg whites, then flattening this mixture out, cutting into triangles and baking until browned

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