As part of the Chicago business community, we are deeply saddened by the passing of Chef Homaro Cantu, a man who brought art and taste to life. His skill will be missed throughout the culinary community and beyond, and our thoughts are with those who had the honor of knowing and working alongside his genius.
Though details are still being released about the exact details of his death at 38, no matter the circumstance, Chef Cantu was a beloved chef and restaurateur and a veritable Willy Wonka in the kitchen. After attending the Cordon Bleu and working up and down his native West Coast, Cantu found a home in Chicago, working first alongside legend Charlie Trotter. He then opened his own restaurant at moto, and later at the restaurant iNG and the coffeehouse Berrista. Recently he was working on opening a brewpub, tentatively dubbed Crooked Fork with his former Moto manager Trevor Rose-Hamblin.
No matter his venture, Cantu is known as one of the country’s most daring chefs and pioneered multiple tastes and techniques as he sought to bring the kitchen into the 21st Century. He regularly used scientific elements and equipment in his cooking, including becoming the first chef to zap food with a class IV laser in 2006 and using gastronomy throughout his moto menu.