What is eco-friendly about cooking brats with a flamethrower? Well, if the resulting mess inspires you to create yummy dishes out of ingredients generally considered inedible …. These are the kind of strange food antics you’ll see in Future Food, a crazy new cooking show that will debut on Discovery’s Planet Green channel in March.
Future Food stars Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche — two chefs at MOTO restaurant in Chicago who concoct bizarre dishes by using unexpected technology and inventing new cooking methods — practicing “molecular gastronomy” to create “postmodern cuisine.”
But how exactly are lasers, ion particle guns, and liquid nitrogen really part of eco-friendly cuisine? Well, while these tools and ingredients aren’t exactly ones you’d use to put together an organic salad with farmers market produce, they’re components that can draw attention to eco-foodie issues on an entertaining cooking show. In one episode, the chefs make burgers not from meat, but from the stuff a cow eats, thereby shortening the food chain. In another, the chefs create brats out of composter-bound scraps like peanut shells and potato peels, thereby turning “trash” into food.
Most episodes seem to involve some sort of taste-test competition at the end, pitting Future Food chefs’ concoctions against their “conventional” counterparts. And at the Discovery 25th anniversary celebration reception last night, I got to taste some Future Food: a few seafood concoctions — made without fish to draw attention to overfishing and mercury contamination!
The postmodern bites were pretty tasty, though I’m not sure I’d mistake them for real sushi. The Japanese BBQ Maki was the most believable with a fish-esque tang and texture; the Watermelon Nigiri was sweet and chewy — like a watermelon-flavored jerky. Afterwards, I nibbled on the salty edible menu (below) for dessert!
Curious about postmodern cuisine? Watch Future Food when it debuts on March 30 on Planet Green — but think twice before trying the antics in your home kitchen.
Top 3 photos by Planet Green/David Nicolas; bottom 2 photos by Siel