• Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
Homaro Cantu


Homaro Cantu, an accomplished food tech chef based in Chicago, was found dead Tuesday. He was 38 years old.

Per the Chicago Tribune, police sources said Cantu was found hanging. The Cook County medical examiner cannot confirm the cause of death, as the investigation is still open. The Chicago Police Department told E! News that preliminary information indicates it's a possible suicide. An autopsy is schedule for Wednesday.

Cantu's wife, chef Katie McGowan, posted a picture to Facebook of the late restauranteur and asked that mourners remember his charitable nature. "Among his many gifts, he was the most generous person I ever met," she wrote, according to NBC News. "If you are one of the many many who asked him for a favor, or help, I am positive he made a phone call on your behalf, or found you a job, or comped your meal."

He was passionate about ending hunger in the United States, something he'd experienced firsthand as a child during a period when his family was homeless. In the spirit of feeding the world, he came up with innovative techniques and food technologies to create things like edible paper—with a purpose. "My goal with this is to deliver food to the masses that are starving," he told Fast Company. "We give them something that's healthy, that has an indefinite shelf life, and that is supercheap to produce. A guy like Paul Allen could take this thing and wipe out world hunger if he wanted to."

Giving back was something that always mattered to Cantu. "I was just taught very early that if I didn't solve problems, I was headed for a very dark path," he told the Chicago Tribune in 2012. "Problems were everywhere. Now even if there are no problems, I look for problems. I'm like, you know what? I don't like the way this spoon works. I want to design a new spoon. Or I don't like the way my phone integrates with my desktop...I want to come in and talk to my computer."

As he put it, "I think [I'm] a product developer first and foremost now."

Cantu is survived by his wife and their two young daughters. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

—Additional reporting by Lindsey Caldwell & Lindsay Good