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Homaro Cantu

Chef and inventor

Moto Restaurant and Cantu Designs, Chicago, Ill.

Chef Homaro Cantu was executive chef at Moto Restaurant as well as an innovator looking to take the dining experience to a new level through design and engineering. Cantu filed numerous patents covering diverse fields such as dining items, cookware and edible surfaces. Cantu has also worked with NASA to develop a "food replicator"—a converted ink-jet printer that produces edible prints. On display in the exhibit is a case that he used to conceal his patent-pending process for printing edible paper, as well as some of his innovative utensil designs. Throughout his work, Cantu looked for ways to help people: to change the way we feed people in crisis, disseminate medicine to stem an epidemic, sustain astronauts on long missions and more. He believed his work with the West African “miracle berry,” which alters how your taste buds perceived sweet and sour, could help diabetics, people in regions where available food is edible but bitter or bland, and those whose ability to taste has been affected.