Master chef Homaru Cantu wanted to create food for the Moto restaurant in Chicago that looked, smelled and tasted like a particular food but contained none of that food, to pose the question, 'Does it matter?'
If he could create a foie gras from split peas without having to force-feed ducks then perhaps he could challenge the way the world views the value of such food. If he could make them more cheaply then there would be less animal cruelty and less destructive environmental practices in food production. It could also explode the range of tastes available to most people.
His first project was to print an edible menu. Using a domestic printer and edible ink, he printed the menu for a sushi entree onto a large tortilla chip, making your menu also your first course. Other dishes he created include a Polaroid of a sushi roll made of rice paper, piping hot ice cream, an apple made from pork and a table candle that was your seafood sauce.
Not content with giving his customers a unique food experience, Cantu's intentions were to find ways to eradicate hunger and disease and to stop damage to the planet. He worked on ideas such as edible plates and cutlery, reducing plastic waste by blasting fruit with an ultrasonic wave generator so it became it's own packaging, replicating meat and eggs with plant products, stop-motion video cookbooks and inventing a low-energy oven.
Cantu was a self-taught genius who grew up homeless. He left a lasting legacy on the food industry and is considered one of the most inventive chefs in history. His story is told in the feature film, Insatiable.