June 17, 2010

Tasty, science-y, with a dash of weird/adorable

My latest DVR go-to:

If you haven't heard of the show, it follows head chef Omar Cantu and his kitchen staff at his restaurant, MOTO, in Chicago. The hook: They use their kitchen like a laboratory, take experimental cooking (yay!) to a whole new level, and then serve the best results to their customers.

Since it airs on Planet Green, all the episodes/experiments have a green bent to them. For example, they invented edible (and, therefore, easily degradable) packaging material:

They created packaging peanuts that looked, functioned and actually protected a shipped glass vase just like their Styrofoam counterparts, but tasted like popcorn, strawberry and other flavors and were completely edible. (Note to the creators of the Touchdown/Butter Jesus: NOT a good idea for the next iteration.)

Since my kitchen doesn't include a centrifuge and a supply of liquid nitrogen, it's highly unlikely I'd be able to actually make most of what the team is doing, so the appeal of the show isn't personal instruction. Their experiments are just really...cool. :)

And socially relevant: In one show, they propose a solution to world hunger by creating dishes out of edible plants that normally are too bitter or nasty to actually eat (e.g., marigolds, and the weeds growing out of your sidewalk) but are made tasty by first eating Miracle Fruit, a fruit that fools your tastebuds into thinking bitter/sour things taste good.

What completely hooked me into the show: the staff, all of whom are adorable and totally excited about their experiments and how it might actually make a difference in the world. Omar (who was homeless as a kid, and knows from hunger) gets so little-kid-excited about things like shooting bratwursts with paintballs filled with hot sauce that I just want to put him in my pocket and carry him around.

Even if you don't really care about cooking (I generally don't) or if you don't give a crap about the environment (...), the show is just really...cool. I know, I already said that. But it is! They make fake sushi out of watermelon! And a chicken nugget using only things a chicken would actually eat! And EDIBLE PACKAGING PEANUTS!

Oh, just go watch it.


5 backtalk:

the grumbles said...

i've eaten at moto.

it was AMAZING. mind-blowing type of amazing.

(also, mind-blowingly expensive. but worth it)

one of the courses was this gin and tonic that was encapsulated in a bubble- so you put this little bubble in your mouth and pop it and WHOOOSH, gin and tonic in your mouth.

and nitrogen frozen smores with single-serve fires?

it might be the best will i will ever have.

Written Permission said...

That's fabulous! I can't believe you've been there. I'd love to try it. I guess you're paying for the experience, so "pricey but worth it" probably would cover it. :)

I think they do a really good job of translating what they do to the actual show. They make it seem like they're all just so giddy with excitement coming to work every day. How nice would that be?

Written Permission said...

(I mean, seriously -- anyone who makes tiny single-serve s'mores is after my own heart in a really big way.)

Iris Took said...

Sounds really fab.

I love that they shoot meat with hot sauce paint balls. That's cool.

wrestling kitties said...

I am checking this out....it looks really sweet! I love this kind of stuff. It looks awesome

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