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Moto Chef Homaro Cantu Talks Miracle Berries, Molecular Gastronomy at TED

By Anthony Todd in Food on Dec 20, 2011 4:30PM

Chef Homaro Cantu has been having a very good year. His new restaurant, iNG, opened to popular acclaim and his project to change the world is continuing apace. Yes, we said change the world; Chef Cantu is an evangelist of the Miracle Berry, a fruit that he believes can end diabetes and world hunger.

While claims that big might make you a bit skeptical, some of his more modest projects, like helping patients with post-chemotherapy nausea, have real potential. And the national media has taken notice.

Recently, Cantu has been all over CNN, his TED talk just became available online and last week he was profiled on ABC's World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.

Cantu's ideas have gotten bigger and bigger in recent years. He created the first computer-controlled restaurant management system for fine dining, created courses out of edible paper that taste like real food and he invented dishes that blow diners' minds by looking like one thing and tasting like another. His latest project, the miracle berry, makes anything sour or bitter taste sweet — you can snack on lemons like candy. The practical applications of this substance, according to Cantu, haven't even begun to be tapped. 2012 is going to get even better, as Cantu plans to open an aquaponic farm in the basement of Moto to grow his own produce on-site.

The Sawyer interview isn't easily available online, but his TED talk is now. If you haven't ever eaten at Moto (or aren't quite sure what the heck goes on at such a strange restaurant) take a look. Discussion of the miracle berry begins at about 6:00.

CNN also profiled Cantu on the Next List.