Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Food for Design

I don't often find an opportunity to talk about food in the context of my professional work, but I came across an interesting intersection of the two worlds the other evening. Last Sunday night, I caught the episode of Iron Chef America featuing the contest between Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and molecular gastronomist Homaro Cantu in "Battle Beet". It turns out that Cantu, the executive chef of Chicago's Moto Restaurant, is deeply interested in the topic of design and, in fact, runs his own design firm. Cantu Designs focuses on taking the dining experience to a new level through the use of technology. He is motivated by the question, "What if you could enhance not only the taste but also the scent of your dining experience?" In partnership with the industrial design firm deepLabs, Cantu has helped develop many innovations that allow for new ways to deliver food to the end-user, i.e. the diner, accumulating numerous patents in the process.

I can't help but wonder whether any of the tools and processes that he has developed to innovate can be applied to the enterprise software domain. Given the food that I saw being created on ICA, I wouldn't mind my team working on a project with him.