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inventolux

Moto Restaurant - Chicago

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Say more, Homaro. What exactly are you trying to accomplish? And how do you address critics who see this as merely a prank?

Check out www.disruptivefood.com now. Is this starting to sink in now? It all just makes a little too much sense. I patent only to give those patents away to those in need, those that live outside the walls of the digital age and those that have no idea what its like to go to bed with a full stomach. I will keep these two videos up for 2 days and upload more as we get closer to the launch date.

Enjoy the show!


Edited by inventolux (log)

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Well it was kinda annoying that the interviewer decided to interrupt while you were explaining exactly what you have in mind to jump to talking about your show (or was that intentional editing) but I get the general idea of what you're up to. Cool stuff Chef.

Chris: Personally, I'm hoping his feeling on what the critics think of it is the same as the feel I get for his opinion on what critics may think about what he does at his restaurant. I may have it all wrong but a great deal of what I respect about Chef Cantu is that his restaurant seems to be a big middle finger to the critics. He's showing the world that the use of so-called "gimmicks" does not preclude good food if you do it right. He's not jumping on the bandwagon of chefs that once embraced the idea and now proclaim against it just because some critics decided it wasn't cool anymore. If that's not the case, I'm not sure I want to know because that image has been hugely inspirational to me. I'll never be at his level but I'd like to think that, if I was, I would do what I love to do the way I love to do it and the critics could take a leap.

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Well it was kinda annoying that the interviewer decided to interrupt while you were explaining exactly what you have in mind to jump to talking about your show (or was that intentional editing) but I get the general idea of what you're up to. Cool stuff Chef.

Chris: Personally, I'm hoping his feeling on what the critics think of it is the same as the feel I get for his opinion on what critics may think about what he does at his restaurant. I may have it all wrong but a great deal of what I respect about Chef Cantu is that his restaurant seems to be a big middle finger to the critics. He's showing the world that the use of so-called "gimmicks" does not preclude good food if you do it right. He's not jumping on the bandwagon of chefs that once embraced the idea and now proclaim against it just because some critics decided it wasn't cool anymore. If that's not the case, I'm not sure I want to know because that image has been hugely inspirational to me. I'll never be at his level but I'd like to think that, if I was, I would do what I love to do the way I love to do it and the critics could take a leap.

Well,

you are on the right track here but the purpose is not give the media the middle finger. It's to create an overwhelmingly positive case for experimental food. Ask yourself this question: The way we cook, is it sustainable in 50, 75 or 150 years from now? Absolutely not. Radical shifts in what we define as sustainable will have to happen if we are to pass on the torch to our great grandchildren. The news clip on Disruptive Food is just the beginning. The ripple effects will be the true test. Think of this as the Freakonomics of food. We certainly have enjoyed the support of egulleters and the media over the years but now its time to ratchet things up to the next level. Many will question and criticize, that is more than welcome and always encouraged. But I will stand by my earlier posts. My technology will speak for itsself.

Cheers,

HC

www.disruptivefood.com

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Yeah, I should have worded that better. I don't really mean a literal middle finger as in being intentionally rude. What I'm picturing is more of a "this is what I'm doing and you don't have to like it but I'm still going to do it" type of thing. I'm also not thinking of the media in general or those who have questions or even skepticism, I'm thinking more of those who are instantly negative and attacking just to avoid being positive. I realize with the project you are working on a little more diplomacy is required... but we all know it's very possible to politely tell someone to kiss your arse. Anyway, looking forward to seeing more of what you're up to.

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Yeah, I should have worded that better. I don't really mean a literal middle finger as in being intentionally rude. What I'm picturing is more of a "this is what I'm doing and you don't have to like it but I'm still going to do it" type of thing. I'm also not thinking of the media in general or those who have questions or even skepticism, I'm thinking more of those who are instantly negative and attacking just to avoid being positive. I realize with the project you are working on a little more diplomacy is required... but we all know it's very possible to politely tell someone to kiss your arse. Anyway, looking forward to seeing more of what you're up to.

Agreed. Sort of like this:

Kinda makes your stomach turn after you watch the entire video. This time around, they wont be banning this form of MF.

HC

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Now I am not a politician, but this next video clearly shows how the "powers that were" squashed it from the view of the american public to replace it with Aspartame. Gotta love that smack upside the head.

I have been researching and developing this new application for the glycoprotein miraculin for over 3 years.

Side note - some very exciting news coming in this thread in the very near future. Moto 3.0 is about to be unleashed.

www.disruptivefood.com

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(snip) Ask yourself this question: The way we cook, is it sustainable in 50, 75 or 150 years from now? Absolutely not. Radical shifts in what we define as sustainable will have to happen if we are to pass on the torch to our great grandchildren. (snip) Think of this as the Freakonomics of food. (snip). Many will question and criticize, that is more than welcome and always encouraged. But I will stand by my earlier posts. My technology will speak for itsself.

Cheers,

HC

www.disruptivefood.com

Oh man ... I can't help but think of .... SOLENT GREEN! :biggrin:

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(snip) Ask yourself this question: The way we cook, is it sustainable in 50, 75 or 150 years from now? Absolutely not. Radical shifts in what we define as sustainable will have to happen if we are to pass on the torch to our great grandchildren. (snip) Think of this as the Freakonomics of food. (snip). Many will question and criticize, that is more than welcome and always encouraged. But I will stand by my earlier posts. My technology will speak for itsself.

Cheers,

HC

www.disruptivefood.com

Oh man ... I can't help but think of .... SOLENT GREEN! :biggrin:

Welcome to Moto 3.0. Check it out now on www.disruptivefood.com

Going green has never been this fun.

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(snip) Ask yourself this question: The way we cook, is it sustainable in 50, 75 or 150 years from now? Absolutely not. Radical shifts in what we define as sustainable will have to happen if we are to pass on the torch to our great grandchildren. (snip) Think of this as the Freakonomics of food. (snip). Many will question and criticize, that is more than welcome and always encouraged. But I will stand by my earlier posts. My technology will speak for itsself.

Cheers,

HC

www.disruptivefood.com

Oh man ... I can't help but think of .... SOLENT GREEN! :biggrin:

Welcome to Moto 3.0. Check it out now on www.disruptivefood.com

Going green has never been this fun.

Todays Disruptive Food page is dedicated to all of my fellow egulleters that have supported Moto over the years. Thank you and enjoy the show. click click click tap tap tap!

www.disruptivefood.com

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Here is a video recently shot for The Chicago Tribune showing a very unusual challenge they threw at us.


Edited by inventolux (log)

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And here is a short clip of Future Food from our friends at Planet Green, hope all of you get to watch the show!

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Check us out Live every Tuesday at 9/8 central on Ustream.tv - 1 hour before the airing of Future Food we will be doing live streaming demos demolition and deliciousness:)

Here is the link:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/future-food

Also Check out this video, some of these ideas may make in the show...


Edited by inventolux (log)

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Sorry if this is answered elsewhere, but I'm planning on hitting up Moto in a few weeks and I made an 8:30 res - would that be enough time to do the GTM, or do I need to bump up my res time...?

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I'm dining at Moto on Friday, but am stretching the budget a bit to do it. Anyone have any opinions on the relative merits of the longer tasting menu versus the shorter with wine pairing?

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Last night my wife and I enjoyed the Grand Tasting Menu (20 courses in four hours) at Moto: we skipped the wine pairing so as to remain conscious and sorta-kinda on-budget. Overall the meal was very successful, both flavorwise and just from an enjoyability standpoint. The previous evening we dined at TRU, and while that was good, we both felt that Moto was clearly better.

I won't give a play-by-play of the meal since many of the best parts were surprises and I don't want to spoil them, but a few highlights were the "Chicken Noodle Soup" (noodles were made from chicken powder, with a chicken skin chip, more chicken powder on the side, and some kind of very chicken-y sauce underneath: basically pure concentrated essence of chicken-ness), a piece of Capon that was served in a very surprising and delicious way, and a cuban pork sandwich in the form of a cigar (as in, it really, really looked like a smoldering cigar, complete with ash). All told there was only a single dish of the twenty that I didn't care for (an Earl Grey ice cream-based dessert thing that felt disjointed to me), about a half dozen dishes that were just "good", and the rest ranged from "very good" to "wow!"

I should note of course that Moto is clearly not for everyone. When we first sat down there was a couple next to us who clearly hated the place: the woman criticized everything from the food to the silverware, they hated the noise level (it is quite loud in there), and they left in disgust after completing only half of the tasting menu. I thought that was crazy, but to each their own, I guess.

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I should note of course that Moto is clearly not for everyone. When we first sat down there was a couple next to us who clearly hated the place: the woman criticized everything from the food to the silverware, they hated the noise level (it is quite loud in there), and they left in disgust after completing only half of the tasting menu. I thought that was crazy, but to each their own, I guess.

Some people have very specific preferences in regard to their restaurant experience... and some like to pretend they do for the benefit of everybody else in the place. Could have been either type but I tend to find that the more loud squawking and complaining they do, the more likely it is that they're from the second group.

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I've finally written up my thoughts on Moto from, what the hell, it's been over a month already. Enjoy.

Fresh off the plane from New York, after recording a mere few hours’ sleep the night before due to (still persistent) difficulties in adjusting to the Australian-American time change, and with a groggy afternoon nap under my belt, I headed into a rather derelict looking industrial sector of Chicago in search of Moto, a restaurant that I had been looking forward to experiencing for some time.

After again arriving quite early due mostly to my paranoia about being late, I wandered around the area for about ten minutes, only to find the new Grant Achatz outpost next door. Finally, 6.15 arrives, and I think to myself that 15 minutes early is getting within the bounds of my own self-respect, so I enter.

I was surprised to learn that instead of the 2 tasting menu choices of 10 and 20 courses, there was now only one, at 15 courses, available. I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t a little disappointed, I had been looking forward to the 20 course since I booked my table, but nevertheless, 15 was a very reasonable compromise.

The first course of the much discussed edible menu, posing as a maki roll, is undoubtedly an interesting concept. However it was one of a few courses over the night that I felt was more form than function, as the flavours were quite understated. Undoubtedly, it would have scored more points with me if I hadn’t expected an edible menu of some sort, but sadly, with the prevalence of discussion boards and blogs, the element of surprise is somewhat muted if you’re part of the online food community.

“Snowman sashimi” is probably my least favourite of the savoury courses. Quite complex in flavour, it just doesn’t seem to harmonise as well as I would expect, and though the sea urchin was delicious the addition of a (yuzu I think?) ‘snowman’ seemed a little too gimmicky for my money.

Essentially a deconstructed vichyssoise, the next course is far more flavourful, packed with contrasting textures and harmonised flavours. Perfectly cooked scallop and olive oil poached fish (halibut from memory) serve as great accents to the potato in both puree and crispy form and, well, there would have to be exceptional circumstances involved before I could ever believe that the humble leek taking a major part in a dish is a bad thing.

“Italian Biosphere” is the next course to arrive; a giant glass sphere filled with smoke, with baby red pepper and cherry tomato, served as part of a dish that is quite possibly the most fun course I’ve ever had the pleasure to eat. A small glass bowl with a pungently aromatic truffle and bread puree sitting upon a miniature spade (intended as a spoon) with toasted breadcrumbs, mushrooms and a few other goodies, along with a miniature rake to fully complete the image of the gardener who’s lost the plot, and is now eating his garden using the tools of his trade. The smoke gently vacating the sphere adds another layer of complexity to the savoury forest flavours of the dish.

Not being American, I didn’t have any nostalgic connection to the course of “Crab and Grits”, so the intended flavour familiarity of the dish was lost on me. Taste wise though, the dish was one of the highlights; a rich, slightly spicy bisque poured tableside over sweet crawfish tails that almost melted on the palate.

“Kentucky Fried Pasta” consisted of chicken that had been freeze dried and turned into tagliatelle, with a rich and very savoury red wine sauce, which then had Australian winter truffles generously microplaned over the top by chef Cantu tableside as he explained the course. This was served with the (in?)famous ‘herb spoon’, which contained thyme, as according to Cantu “Thyme is one of the main herbs that is present in KFC”. The pasta itself has great texture, although there was no more than a ghost-like whisper of chicken flavour. It is a very nice dish even if I couldn’t possibly see how this could be compared in any way to KFC, other than the fact that the dish featured chicken, albeit in a very unfamiliar form. In the first service misstep, the wine for this course only arrived as I was almost finished, with an uneasy, slightly red-faced apology from the waiter.

It was to my great amusement that ten minutes earlier at the adjacent table, I had watched on as the waiter poured the entire contents of the candle that had been on the table over the course they’d just received. The ‘victims’ of this prank, a 30-something couple, almost had their eyes pop out of their head, and looked at the waiter as if he’d gone just a little nuts. The liquid in question was actually sage oil, and was part of a dish known as ‘Cornbread and Capon’. Smoked shredded confit leg and perfectly cooked breast sat atop a cornbread puree, and finely grated bacon added another dimension to the smoky leg meat, and although I thought it would be quite oily, it wasn’t in the slightest, and there was a very slight undercurrent of the herbal sage that played well off the main components.

Cuban cigars three ways are essentially very fancy sandwiches, served in an ash tray with sesame nitrogen ash. There is a riff on Philly cheesesteak, another involving Iberico ham, and one other with contents I cannot recall clearly. With an ultra-realistic look, and extraordinary flavours, this was both delicious and a little disconcerting. The combination of the visual aspect and the flavour combination made this one of the high points.

Roasted, dried, powdered, foamed, re-formed and re-roasted mushrooms come along with pork belly braised in Vietnamese dressing, seared foie gras, sautéed cabbage, mushroom cream, crispy trumpet mushrooms and a Vietnamese caramel. While this would probably be the most complex of the courses so far, the individual elements combined well, with a great balance of flavour and texture. I didn’t quite get the point of the reconstructed mushrooms however; although they looked great sticking up in a line on the plate, they lacked the deep intensity of flavour that would have been present when they were originally roasted. Maybe that was the point, to cut back on the richness a bit.

A palate cleanser to lead in to the desserts; a champagne strawberry soda served in a beaker of sorts, with a nitro poached packing peanut serves its purpose well, leaving the palate refreshed with the balance of sweetness and acidity. The packing peanut didn’t do too much for me though.

Simply called ‘eggs’, the first of the dessert courses contains a spherified mango ‘yolk’ along with Kaffir lime tea. While it was tasty enough, it didn’t live up to any of the previous highs of the meal thus far, which was a bit of a surprise given Ben Roche’s obvious talent, and unfortunately it seemed to be a recurring theme throughout the dessert courses.

‘Pitaya, Longan and Rose’ was another one of those moments. The sweetness and all round flavour of the fruits was nice, but the rosewater meringue really overpowered things, and I was left feeling as though I’d eaten a bag of pot pourri. I’ve never cared for the way rose flavour lingers on the palate for so long; in most cases it just overtakes the other elements, as it did here.

The final full sized dessert course was “Tea time”, and contained several riffs on Earl Grey tea, balanced by chocolate with fresh black and raspberries. Again, it was nice enough, but I just expected something a little different than a dessert that could just as easily have been found in any modern Michelin star restaurant. Maybe it’s my expectations that were a little out of proportion, but since Moto desires to shock and/or stimulate, I expected something that, if not confronting, was at least a little more unusual.

The final bite, known as the “ACME Bomb”, was placed on the table as I watched the fuse burn away. I was half expecting to have to duck for cover as the fuse neared its end, or else be covered in chocolate from the ensuing explosion. It did not explode however, not on the table anyway. Once placed on the tongue and chewed however, the liquid centre (of guava?) did indeed flood the mouth. It was quite a nice end to a thoroughly enjoyable meal, but like a few of the dishes, it seemed to be more about showmanship than anything else.

Service was quite attentive and informative, despite a misstep here and there, and was at times a little on the cheeky side, which I love in this sort of environment. It was also nice to note that, from listening to the descriptions of dishes on other tables as well as my own, that no two descriptions were ever word for word the same, and the explanations seemed to be tailored to the perceived level of interest from the diner.

Wine matches were well thought out, and the pours generous, if occasionally forgotten. I did find it a little perplexing that there was no sparkling water option; and the still water had a strong earthy taste, almost like it was straight from the tap. In a restaurant of this calibre, I found it a little strange, but perhaps that’s more of a reflection of growing up on rainwater, and having a general disdain for the taste of tap water.

In any case, the meal was very enjoyable, although I felt at times the technique took precedence at the expense of taste, whereas at Alinea, the techniques were less obviously showcased, and flavour seemed to take the centre stage more often. I would not hesitate to return though, because at its best, it was stunning.

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