Chef Patron Grant Achatz is the kind of man who always will surprise you. He has more integrity than most others and seems to be completely fearless when it comes to inventing and executing completely new and unique dishes and culinary ideas. Grant Achatz never stops to invent and reinvent. It starts simple with classic flavours, but always turns into something unique and deconstructed. His cuisine is boundary shifting and fantastic, something you will remember for the rest of your life. Grant Achatz is one of the very best chefs in the world, period.
Prepare yourself for a several hours long and fantastic food journey of approximately 20 dishes when you sit down at one of Alinea’s oversized tables. One of the first things you will notice is the lack of tablecloths and the wide space compared to many other fine dining restaurants in the United States. Not even an Alinea sign on the front door will tell you that you have arrived to one of the world’s ultimate food temples – just the numbers 1723 on the outside wall for the street address. The exterior and the interior are sleek and reduced of everything unnecessary, the focus here is not on what is around you – it is on the food.
Many do not like the idea of comparing chefs with artists, but Grant Achatz is a genuine artist. An artist of our time, to say the least. His world-famous dessert simply called Dark Chocolate is the best example of his elaborate artistry. You will have the ultimate grande finale of your meal when the chef steps up to your table and starts to paint on the grey silicon table cloth which temporarily has been placed on your table. When he is finished with his painting he will pick up a big chocolate egg which has been placed in front of you and he will throw it straight at the table with a bang – the egg breaks into many pieces and is filled with all sorts of goodies. The crashed egg breaks perfectly on the table and the fragments of it place beautifully on the table in front of you – like the super chef had planned and decided where every single bit of the egg should end up on his painting for the ultimate final result and the final of what probably is one of the best meals in your life.
Grant Achatz suffered from an advanced form of oral cancer and it was suggested that he should have his tongue amputated. Luckily the chef eventually found an oncologist who agreed to treat him with chemotherapy and radiation instead and he was declared cancer free. Talk about a relief both for the chef and for the whole world of food lovers. The chef is for certain not old and has many fantastic years ahead of him and he is far from satisfied despite the fact that he has already won most of the accolades available.
Chef Patron Grant Achatz never plays safe. It would be the easiest thing for him to just open up new Alinea restaurants all over the world, but that will not happen. If Chef Grant does something he does something completely new, like he did with his other Chicago restaurant Next which changes its concept and cuisine completely every third month.
Alinea is one of the absolutely best and most amazing restaurants in the world.
Written by Andy