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Inkjet sushi
February 3, 2005 7:52 AM   Subscribe

Inkjet sushi - Some argue the kind of molecular gastronomy created by chefs like Moto's Homaro Cantu sucks the soul out of gourmet dining. Others turn it into better cooking for the unwashed masses, while still others turn it into a science project for the kids.
posted by AlexReynolds (21 comments total)

 
Moto make my brain hurt.
posted by shawnj at 8:09 AM on February 3, 2005


It sounds well, stupid.

Here's the problem, you want to print a picture of beef Bourguignon, and then impart the flavour of the dish onto the picture, at some point someone had to make beef Bourguignon, dehydrate it and grind it into powder, and then add the flavours back, why go to the extra steps, just for the novelty of eating paper?
posted by Keith Talent at 8:19 AM on February 3, 2005


I don't know, its an interesting concept but I think some of his other ideas are cooler.

I do like learning about people who push the envelop of whatever profession they've chosen.
posted by fenriq at 8:22 AM on February 3, 2005


It's a neat parlor trick, I guess, but wouldn't most people rather actually, like, eat?

They're sick and tired of steak and eggs," he said. "They're tired of just going to a restaurant, having food placed on the table, having it cleared, and there's no more mental input into it other than the basic needs of a caveman, just eat and nourish."

Sure, creativity and mental input in a restaurant is wonderful, but I'd still like to leave the table with my belly full, and I don't think his Taste-o-Grams will do the job. Seems like they are to a real piece of sushi what web based MIDI is to actual music.
posted by jonmc at 8:27 AM on February 3, 2005


why go to the extra steps, just for the novelty of eating paper?

I think you answered your own question: it's for the novelty of eating paper. It's about creating familiar flavors in unexpected places. Now, I am not a fan of Art-with-a-capital-A, but this is something I understand. It's novelty. It's putting ordinary flavors on top of extraordinary texture. It's neat and it's sorta geeky.

Would I spend $240 on it? No. Would I expect a satisfying meal if I *did* spend $240? No (this is entertainment, not dining). Do I think it's cool? You betcha.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:28 AM on February 3, 2005


Do I think it's cool? You betcha.

Maybe as a sort of afterdinner mint that they bring you with the check, but to base a whole restaurant around it? Gimmickry.
posted by jonmc at 8:32 AM on February 3, 2005


what uncleozzy said. And as for the second link (to the CSMonitor), I wouldn't mind trying the "smoked bacon and egg ice cream served with French toast and tomato jam."

Given my station in life, though, I'm about as likely to sample delicacies like this as I am to sprout wings and fly off to Iraq to sow the seeds of peace from on high, smiling beatifically.
posted by kozad at 8:34 AM on February 3, 2005


Although, if they decided to do the paper sushi as takeout, they wouldn't have to hire delivery guys, they could just send it in the mail.
posted by jonmc at 8:36 AM on February 3, 2005


Hamaro Cantu is a memeber over at E-gullet, he posts under the name inventolux.Here's a thread about the restaurant
posted by Keith Talent at 8:42 AM on February 3, 2005


Keith Talent
at some point someone had to make beef Bourguignon, dehydrate it and grind it into powder

Uhh ... you're kidding, right? Or do you think that when they make e.g. scampi flavo(u)red Walkers crisps, they really start with fresh shrimp, breadcrumbs and lemon juice?

Think about it though - little flattish discs of potato, made up to taste like: cheese and onion, roast beef and mustard, prawn cocktail ... this is molecular gastronomy! And you can buy it in the public bar at the Fool and Bladder!
posted by kcds at 8:44 AM on February 3, 2005


what jon said
posted by matteo at 8:49 AM on February 3, 2005


Although, if they decided to do the paper sushi as takeout, they wouldn't have to hire delivery guys, they could just send it in the mail.

Part of fun of gourmet, jon, is in the presentation, so this is a pretty clever idea. Bike messengers delivering paper takeout in 15 minutes or less... You should send the chef an email — who knows, you might get royalties.
posted by AlexReynolds at 8:49 AM on February 3, 2005


to base a whole restaurant around it? Gimmickry

Of course it's gimmickry. But if you look at it as dinner theater instead of a restaurant, it makes a little more sense.

cheese and onion, roast beef and mustard, prawn cocktail

Americans totally get screwed on potato chip flavors. The best we can come up with is crab.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:50 AM on February 3, 2005


I would suspect that at a restaurant the calibre of Moto, you'd get the real deal, not the chemical flavours you added to your chips, or should I say crisps. And yes, UK crisp flavours are the best, especially the above mentioned beef and mustard.
posted by Keith Talent at 8:55 AM on February 3, 2005


The whole restaurant is not geared around paper entrees. That's just the focus of the article. Moto does, indeed, feature real food.
posted by me3dia at 9:03 AM on February 3, 2005


Part of fun of gourmet, jon, is in the presentation, so this is a pretty clever idea.

I completely agree (even though my experience with gourmet food is extremely limited), and like I said earlier, it's a cute trick, but not one I'd pay 200 bucks for. I'd also be concerned about accidentaly wiping my mouth with the side dish.

Bike messengers delivering paper takeout in 15 minutes or less... You should send the chef an email — who knows, you might get royalties.

But the tips would suck.

"Dinner's here." "Just slide it under the door.."

Americans totally get screwed on potato chip flavors.

Agreed. Walkers Smoky Bacon crisps rock my world, as do these Japanese Pizza Flavored chips I found a while back.

But what sets chips apart from Xerox Sushi is that chips themselves, along with being vessels for flavorings have texture, crunch and flavor of their own. In other words they have substance.
posted by jonmc at 9:07 AM on February 3, 2005


Ah, memories. Courtesy of two very good friends, the newly-minted MrsMoonPie and I had a fancy-schmancy avant-garde gimmicky Artistic (with a capital A) and fabulous dinner at the Minibar in DC. It was the most fun I've ever had at a restaurant.

No, not every dish was a winner. Most dishes were fantastic, many were simply interesting, and a few were, well, kinda nasty. Would I do it again? Indeed, I would.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:10 AM on February 3, 2005


He is testing a hand-held ion-particle gun, which he said is for levitating food. So far he has zapped only salt and sugar, but envisions one day making whole meals float before awestruck diners.

Huh? Really? Ion-particle guns?
posted by loquax at 10:19 AM on February 3, 2005


I'm actually kind of excited, as my girlfriend is taking me to Moto's for my birthday this weekend.

They're supposed to be really great about making vegan tasting menus, which makes me happy. I guess if you're not really using *food* though, it's a bit easier.
posted by fros1y at 12:19 PM on February 3, 2005


Reminds me too much of those breath mint strips. I like to chew anyway. I'd like to check it out. But, only once.
posted by laurenbove at 2:19 PM on February 3, 2005


When I read this in the NYT this morning, my reaction was: "All the food that's fit to print."
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 4:13 PM on February 3, 2005


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