Homaru Cantu, a renowned Chicago chef who experimented with innovative cooking techniques and nutrient-soaked edible paper, has died aged 38.
The chef was found dead on Tuesday 14 April on the US city's North Side, and reports in the Chicago Tribune claimed that he appeared to have hanged himself in a brewery he was building.
Cantu spent four years working in the kitchen for the late Chicago chef and restaurateur Charlie Trotter, before being hired to work as a chef at Moto, which opened in 2004 and has held a Michelin star since 2012. He eventually became part owner of the restaurant.
Cantu was known for using a blend of science and dining and produced dishes at Moto including synthtic Champagne squirted into a glass by a large black medial syringe, and a picture of a cow that tasted like filet mignon.
There was a serious intention behind the playful experimentation though, said the New York Times, which said Cantu hoped that flavouring and fortifying edible paper could be used to feed soldiers at war, astronauts in space, and people in refugee camps.
"My goal with this is to deliver food to the masses that are starving," he said in an interview with the magazine Fast Company. "We give them something that's healthy, that has an indefinite shelf life, and that is supercheap to produce."
Chigago police have said that an autopsy on Cantu is scheduled for today.