Changing the way people think about food is no simple task. But the Future Food team is up for the challenge, as they seek to not only redefine food, but also look for solutions to some of the world's most pressing environmental issues.
On Future Foods, Meet "molecular gastronomists," Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche: world renowned chefs, successful restaurateurs, patent-owning mad scientists and celebrated futurists. Watch their cutting-edge kitchen creations on Future Foods.
Something's fishy with the seafood section of the supermarket—and this time, it's not the smell. Increased mercury levels are making the consumption of fish unhealthy and overfishing is creating severe shortages that will ultimately lead to the extinction of certain fish. In this episode, Omar, Ben and the guys will make an entire seafood menu—using everything but fish! Before adding them to the menu, the guys will test their dishes with some of the most discerning seafood palates in Chicago—local folks at Mitsuwa Market, a place known for its seafood and sushi. Then the staff competes to see who can come up with the most creative seafood dish made out of other foods.
French cuisine has a certain...je ne sais quois—and it's not only challenging for the rugged American palate. Indeed, even top chefs consider it the ultimate challenge to craft refined French food—and that includes the culinary wizards of Future Food. In this episode, a recycling theme begins when Chris & Darrel prepare the staff a meal of French toast using day old bread. Omar and Ben then recycle the French Toast, turning them into super-crepes which inspires a crepe-off competition with famed French Pastry School head chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, in front of the famed Art Institution of Chicago. The staff is challenged to recycle the batter and come up with several dishes for the restaurant but the big surprise comes when Jacquy Pfeiffer gets his just deserts in the end
Sometimes, a crazy experiment goes right and produces results beyond everyone's wildest expectations. Other times, well, it ends in disaster. When a cooking experiment using a paint gun filled with capsicum oil and a flamethrower produces a mess of inedible burnt brats, Omar, Ben, and the kitchen staff decide to turn foods normally thought inedible, into edible tasty menu ideas for their Restaurant, MOTO. They hope that these creations will hopefully develop a greater source of food for our planet. While the staff prepares dishes for the evening's menu using peanut shells, potato peels and apple cores, Omar & Ben go brat to brat at a taste test with one of Chicago's best Hot Dog institutions, Hot Doug's. The stakes are high since all the inedible to edible dishes need to be amazing because a food critic is coming to the restaurant that night. Find out if the Omar, Ben, and the staff can salvage the wreckage of a culinary experiment gone wrong!
Having been homeless as child, hunger is a very personal issue for Omar. His incredible invention—Miracle Fruit—is a way to open the door to ending world hunger. The unique berry does not allow the taste buds to register sour and bitter, allowing Chef's to create concentrated, highly-nutritious, foods that are also palatable. At MOTO, the team comes up with several dishes to try out on the diners, using plants, cactus, flowers and weeds that are never eaten because of their bitter components. Later, they hold an event at the beautiful Garfield Conservatory where Omar shares his ideas for using Miracle Fruit to end world hunger.
Common wisdom would have us believe that kids are picky, finicky, eaters. But maybe their aversion to the entire world of grown-up food has more to do with boring plates and uninspired menus than it does with taste. Can Omar, Ben, and the staff of MOTO change that? After inviting a group of kids to create menu ideas for the restaurant, the team will really need to think outside of the box. Vegetables that look like eyeballs, deep fried deer head with tree bark utensils and dirty socks with rocks certainly challenges the kitchen staff's creativity but even harder is getting the kids to eat their veggies!
The system that places a pound of pre-ground beef in a plastic-wrapped Styrofoam tray on a supermarket shelf is a complex and—let's face it—largely unnatural one. But it doesn't have to be this way. In this episode, Omar and Ben try to "shorten the food chain" by creating a veggie burger made out of what a cow eats. A better burger competition at Chicago's DePaul University will decide whose burger is best, but the best judge of these burgers shows up at the restaurant later that night. Billy Goat Sam, the cheeboiger, cheeboiger, cheeboiger, king of burgers who was made famous by John Belushi and Dan Akroyd in a sketch on Saturday Night Live is a special guest at MOTO.
"One person's trash," the saying goes, "is another person's treasure." And so, it seems, it goes with food: What one person considers junk food, another will eat everyday. In this episode, Omar and Ben come up with healthy recipes designed to fool the mind and please the palette. The catch? They will create "junk food" that is good for you, using only the ingredients found in a granola bar and a health food drink. Tourists at Chicago's famed Willis Tower try out the good for you junk food recipes. But, the real test comes during a tasting at a local gym when a local news crew shows up to cover the story of healthy junk food.
It's exciting to come home to a find a package waiting but once the new item is out of the box all that remains is a pile of unrecyclable shipping peanuts. Imagine a world in which Styrofoam packaging peanuts are no longer bad for the environment but are actually edible! Omar and Ben come up with several flavors of edible packaging peanuts that, much to the surprise of the customers, they try out at the Post Office. At MOTO, they wow diners with several recipes featuring edible packaging.