WHAT TO READ, VIEW, AND VISIT THIS MONTH
The Moto chefs’
Grossing out customers with crazy kitchen concoctions and simultaneously saving
the planet: This is the world of Homaru Cantu and Ben Roche. They are the chefs
behind Moto, the Chicago restaurant famous for using science and experimentation to
craft a menu full of the bizarre. They are also the hosts of Future Food, a series making
its initial run on Planet Green through the end of May. The show features the two men
challenging themselves and the other chefs on staff to cook the seemingly impossible
with the help of some cutting-edge culinary technology.
In the pilot, our hosts try to make food that looks and tastes like seafood from other
ingredients. Cantu coats watermelon—which he wants to turn into “tuna”—with spices
and puts it into a Cryovac machine to pull in those flavors. Then a liquid nitrogen bath
gives it a seared texture. Cantu and Roche discovered most of these techniques through
trial and error. “There’s no handbook if you want to start replicating food,” Cantu says.
Many of the Future Food challenges border on silly, like making health food look like
junk food. But for Cantu there is a bigger picture. He imagines popularizing fake tuna
to solve the overfishing crisis, or recycling day-old bread into appealing new dishes to
cut down on edible waste. But judging by the reactions when the two mad chefs take
their creations to the people, not everyone is ready for watermelon seafood.
Planet Green, Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ES T ANDREW MOSEMAN
BY IAN MCEWAN
(NAN A. TALESE)
Physicist Michael Beard,
a Nobel laureate past his
prime, struggles to save
the world from climate
change in this new novel.
The knowing references
to basement tinkerers
and smug climate activ-
ists reinforce McEwan’s
smart, sardonic tone.
account traces seven
case histories during
the early-1900s epidemic of encephalitis
lethargica, a sleeping
sickness. Brain swelling sent its victims
into a mysterious (and
a few cases still pop
up, and doctors do not
BY MOLLY CALDWELL
CROSBY (PENGUIN GROUP)
WHAT’S EATING YOU?
BY EUGENE H. KAPLAN
Take a rousing romp
through the zoo of
beasties that make a