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Homaru Cantu and Ben Roche bring 'miracle berries' to TED

March 2, 2011 |  5:37 pm


A menu that becomes a meal. Packing material that turns into snack food. A tiny tablet on the tongue that turns a sour lemon slice into sweet lemonade, sans refined sugar. This is what food futurists Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche brought to the table for TED and TEDActive conference-goers. Executive chef at Moto restaurant in Chicago, Cantu's mission has been to pioneer food-making techniques, at least partly in order to reduce carbon footprint and consumptive practices.  

Conference attendees got to experience all this firsthand -- and first taste bud -- when the maverick gastronomers presented the audience with their latest projects, which included a BBQ sauce made of hay and crab apples, sushi made from watermelon, and burgers made of beets and barley. Then, in a very "Oprah"-like moment, TED-sters were asked to reach under their seats and procure a tiny box that contained four flavor elements: a salty-spicy piece of what looked like packing foam, sour-savory edible paper, a piece of lemon, and a small "miracle berry" tablet -- the "miracle" here being that after sucking on the tablet, the formerly sour lemon tasted incredibly sweet. Tongue-tripping, indeed. 

Take a look at an earlier TEDx presentation by Cantu and Roche here

-- Ramie Becker

Photo: Homaru Cantu. Credit: www.motorestaurant.com