Moto was run by executive chef Homaro Cantu until his suicide in inside Moto 2006 PDF. Sister restaurant iNG was located next door and served « flavor tripping cuisine » based on « the miracle berry », which makes sour foods taste sweet.
In 2003, restaurateur Joseph De Vito, who had previously opened a burger joint and a classical Italian eatery, was looking to open a new restaurant. He wanted it to be a bit out of the ordinary and was considering Asian fusion. Nestled among warehouses in Chicago’s meatpacking district, Moto opened in January 2004. People would come in looking for sushi and leave when offered a degustation menu instead, De Vito recalled.
Enough people braved the menu, however, and soon the restaurant was discovered by foodies. Smell the Glove » course at Moto. Customers are instructed to inhale the smoke from the leather glove while eating glove shaped chocolate. In the kitchen, Cantu employed unusual devices such as a centrifuge, a hand-held ion particle gun, and a class IV laser, among other science gadgets. Initially, food critics were not impressed saying Moto sacrificed deliciousness in favor of cleverness. Other chefs were split, variously describing Cantu as a « faddish flavor of the month » or a « creative genius. Over time, guests and critics began to notice the quality of the food in addition to the odd presentation.
Cantu eventually took over ownership of Moto. In 2010, Moto was the main focus of a TV show called Future Food that aired on Discovery’s Planet Green and was co-hosted by Cantu. On April 14, 2015, Cantu committed suicide. Moto was closed the next several days, reopening on April 18. 20 former Moto employees offered contributions.