Celebrating The Phoronix Birthday With A High-Tech Dinner

Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 4 June 2011 at 06:59 PM EDT. 11 Comments
As many are aware, tomorrow Phoronix will turning be seven years old. A site that many technology enthusiasts and other media publications refer to as being the leading source for Linux hardware information and news/reviews, along with being the home to the Phoronix Test Suite, OpenBenchmarking.org, and other web properties. Sunday will also mark the three year anniversary of the release of Phoronix Test Suite 1.0.

Due to this occasion, and also by chance some wonderful Bavarian colleagues being in Chicago this weekend, this milestone was celebrated. As luck would have it, the restaurant we went to was actually a very technology-inclined establishment: Moto Restaurant. I hadn't intended at first to write about the restaurant when planning the weekend (aside from maybe @MichaelLarabel and @Phoronix). After all, Phoronix is about computer hardware and software, not food. However, I was taken away by their actual use of technology. It's not software engineering, but other types of sciences and this local restaurant has actually partnered with NASA to conduct research and food experiments. They also are home to a national TV show about their "crazy" food experiments. It was only when thinking about not the food, but as well the experience, that I decided it was worth mentioning on Phoronix for anyone who might be living or visiting Chicago (such as at the X.Org Developers' Conference that I am organizing in Chicago this September) as something that will leave you absolutely amazed. Combined, out of the dozens of countries that these Munich colleagues and I have visited, there has been no restaurant quite as technologically advanced or as intriguing as Moto's of Chicago. [Well, the food I had eaten when touring the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site last year may have been more genetically modified, the Moto experience in contrast was a true delight.]

Moto specializes in "molecular gastronomy", which is the study of physical and chemical processes that take place while cooking. Some quick examples, from a non-"foodie", would be Moto reconstructing an entire Cuban sandwich with smoked pork, etc to appear as a Cuban cigar. Or turning a Mango to look exactly like an uncooked egg. It's all part of the Moto experience. Moto's grand tasting menu was a five-hour experience, which left us at dinner until past 1.00 in the morning.

Afterwards, in the early hours of the morning, the staff was kind enough to offer a tour of their kitchen and research area. This showed quite how technology focused they were with employing everything from liquid nitrogen to centrifuges to effectively reverse-engineer food. [Sadly, I hadn't thought of taking photos at that point.] I had not seen any Linux systems around, but there were no Windows installations either. They seem to be powered all off of Apple Mac OS X for managing their tables and in delivering a seamless experience.

The price at Moto's may be fairly steep, but it's clear they are devoted to their work and each course takes significant time to develop and reproduce. It's also just not about the food, but equally is the experience. Aside from that, the only complaint from the Bavarians or myself may be that they are more focused on wine pairings rather than beer pairings, but perhaps that will be taken care of in the future. Should there be any pairings or work done with Augustiner, Tegernsee, and/or Franziskaner, we'll definitely be back. There's also their 10-course meal still to be benchmarked.

Check out their web-site to learn more about this Chicago restaurant. There's also many YouTube videos that cover in proper detail just how this restaurant is focused on technology and science.
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About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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