Meet Omar Cantu and Ben Roche, the mad scientist chefs behind the Moto Kitchen Lab. Using lasers, flash freezing and liquid nitrogen, they developed molecular gastronomy.
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Foods of the Future: Molecular Gastronomy Dr. Travis Stork: As we all know, sometimes looks can be deceiving. Homaro Cantu: Moto is one of the only restaurants in the world that has a state of the art science lab where we can experiment with molecular food concepts. The first dish we’re trying to create is a seared tuna out of watermelon. I want someone to actually eat this and think, “Oh my God! That is tuna.” Ben Roche: Take the watermelon and we cut it into the shape of tuna then it gets seasoned with invision salt, nori powder. It’s going to make the watermelon taste a lot less sweet than it normally would. Homaro Cantu: We’re going to put it into the Cryovac machine. It’s going to suck all the air out of the bag. Ben Roche: It’s going to suck all that flavor from the nori into the watermelon. Homaro Cantu: And then roll it in a togarashi sesame spice mixture. I’m doing a blue-cheese-looking crepe-raisin and cream cheese dish. I’m using raisin puree, so it looks like the veins of blue cheese into it. Next, we’re going to attempt to make scallops from Tokyo. Ben Roche: Let’s add some egg whites to that and then reset it with transglutaminase. Transglutaminase is basically what they use in hospitals as a liquid bond. It will fuse proteins together. Homaro Cantu: We put that into a rubber mold that looks like a scallop and fill it with the—puree. Liquid nitrogen has the neck of chilling it down to minus 321 degrees Fahrenheit. We’re not freezing it, we’re just chilling it down rapidly and then we’ll just sort of relay it so it looks like a scallop. Dr. Travis Stork: Moto restaurants Molecular Gastronomy cuisine has been getting a lot of attention lately, so we have joining us the chefs. Some people are calling them the mad scientist Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche, welcome gentlemen to the show. So, where does the inspiration come from to try foods like this? Homar Cantu: I think just stepping outside of the box and asking yourself what really make sense with seafood going out and fishing for it or just making it out of things that can grow in your backyard. Dr. Travis Stork: So, one of the keys to our show in general and both -- in general but also today, is this food healthy? Homar Cantu: Healthy is relative to a number of factors. Let’s say tuna for example. We have high mercury levels, fuel being used of food miles that contributes to a lack of health globally. And so, if we can grow things in our backyard, you’re essentially eliminating those food miles and creating a better environmental product. Ben Roche: And in the case of the watermelon tuna, you’re eating watermelon and seaweed, those are two things that are pretty good for you. Dr. Travis Stork: So, we’ve got some dishes out here that we’re going to try and they aren’t what they seem and you ladies also have some of these dishes. So, the first thing, this is a blue cheese wheel but it’s not really blue cheese, so let’s all try it. Dr. Drew Ordon: It does have a blue cheese flavor. Dr. Travis Stork: Wow! Sarah, what do you think? Sarah: It’s really good. Dr. Travis Stork: It would hard to say there are no cheese in that. Ben Roche: The cheese part itself is made from crepes and the blue vein is made from a blueberry and thyme puree. So, you’re basically eating a classical French dish in the form of a classical French cheese. Dr. Travis Stork: So, let’s try some scallops. Dr. Drew Ordon: It does have the scallop taste. Dr. James Sears: Yeah, it does. It’s got that scallop taste. Sarah: It’s good. I do like the taste and the texture. It’s really great. It’s believable to me. Dr. Travis Stork: Well, my favorite, you guys make edible custom menus, so we’ve got this little customize menus that we’re going to try. Whoah! That’s spicy! My menu is really spicy. Dr. Jim Sears: Mine is sweet. It’s like cotton candy. Dr. Lisa Masterson: Well, my mine is like -- Dr. Drew Ordon: It got stuck in my teeth. Dr. Lisa Masterson: Mine is spicy. Dr. Travis Stork: So guys, what -- Ben
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