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Michelin chef found dead inside brewery

Homaro Cantu, a “visionary” chef known for his use of chemical-laboratory techniques, has been found dead inside a brewery he was due to open.

The 38-year-old’s body was discovered inside the Crooked Fork Brewery in Chicago on Tuesday, which the chef was preparing to open.

He is thought to have taken his own life, according to reports by The Chicago Tribune. 

Having graduated from the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon, Cantu began to build a reputation as a molecular gastronomer, blending science with cooking.

He moved to Chicago in 1999 and spent four years working at renowned chef Charlie Trotter’s restaurant before leaving in 2004 to become Moto’s opening chef. He later become owner of the restaurant, which has held a Michelin star since 2012.

Moto was known for its high-tech dishes which incorporated carbonated fruit and edible paper, and used lasers and liquid nitrogen to produce dishes.

Previously, Cantu had spoken of his desire to end world hunger by creating a nutrient-rich edible paper with an indefinite shelf life. The technology, Cantu believed, could help feed soldiers at war, astronauts and people in refugee camps.

The Crooked Fork Brewery was due to open in Chicago this summer as an organic brewery and brewpub serving low-key Mexican food.

At the time of his death, the chef had been involved in a legal battle with Alexander Espalin, an investor in Moto and iNG, a restaurant Cantu had closed last year. Espalin had sued Mr Cantu claiming he had not received his share of Moto’s profits.

The chef was described on Twitter as a “true maverick” and a “visionary” who “embraced the impossible”.

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