Homaro Cantu Imagines New Gastronomy

  • Photo by Michael Ruggirello
    Photo by Michael Ruggirello
  • Photo by Michael Ruggirello
    Tuna, Avocado and Sesame Photo by Michael Ruggirello
  • Photo by Michael Ruggirello
    Kettle Corn-Sea Salt & Vin Popcorn Photo by Michael Ruggirello
  • Photo by Michael Ruggirello
  • Photo by Michael Ruggirello
  • Photo by Michael Ruggirello

Thirty-five-year-old chef Homaro Cantu is sending traditional Asian cuisine into a tailspin at his new restaurant iNG, which opened in Chicago’s meatpacking district in March. The restaurant’s name stands for “Imagining New Gastronomy”—a seemingly appropriate name for its bill of fare, which features everything from cod and edamame dumplings,to whimsical waffle desserts. Foods on the menu (which range from $8 to $24) are categorized by processes like Cooling, for example, to denote the cold appetizer section, whereas Boiling indicates soups; and titles like Sipping, Brewing, and Mixing refer to the drink section.

Cantu’s culinary concept is a synthesis of ancient Asian cooking techniques—making hand-pulled noodles, for instance—and innovative food pairings with flavors such as Vietnamese coriander and coconut. Executive chef Thomas Bowman carries out Cantu’s vision with staple dishes like his baozi (breadlike buns) stuffed with with pork, enoki mushrooms, and melted scallions; tomagayaki (Japanese rolled omelet) with tobiko and seaweed salad; and a hot chocolate dessert with doughnut ice cream and churro spaghetti. Guests looking for a more intimate dining experience may opt for the iNG chef’s table, where an exclusive 15-course tasting menu is available to one group at a time in a sublevel kitchen. (855.834.6464, www.ingrestaurant.com)

From Around the Web...
Meatmaster Pat LaFrieda explains the magic of dry-aging beef…
In Tokyo, some of the city’s best steaks are eaten on the fly.…
David Burke’s take involves bourbon-infused beef, bourbon aioli, and maraschino-cherry ketchup…
©Getty Images
The Japanese fruit is revered as a status symbol…
Chef Daniel Eddy of Michelin-starred Rebelle tells us how to make his favorite late-night meal…
The executive chef of Pearl & Ash tells how to make his childhood favorite…
Lone Mountain Wagyu Club’s shipments will include both traditional and more unusual cuts…
Thick-cut bacon coated in pancake batter…
Shakshuka is packed with protein and easy to make…
With this guide and the right tools, you will get delicious results every time…