Monday, July 30, 2007

Grant Achatz

This being my first post, I thought I would start out with a chef that I have recently discovered. His name is Grant Achatz, owner of Alinea restaurant in Chicago. He has received multiple outstanding awards from people such as the James Beard Foundation, Gourmet magazine, and Food and Wine magazine.
I heard about him first through Food Network. His restaurant was featured in a show based mostly upon his cooking technique. He is known for applying the newest methods of molecular gastronomy, such as using liquid nitrogen as a coolant, etc. His restaurant features mainly two tasting menus consisting of 12 or 24 mini courses. Now, I've never been to his restaurant, but from what I've heard about it, it's spectacular and if I ever happen to be in Chicago, I plan on making a reservation.
What distresses me the most about the hot upcoming chef is that he has recently announced that he has squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth. Basically, that means that he has a malignant cancer in the mouth and it has reached Stage 4; this means that the cancer has possibly spread to his lymph nodes. But as far as I know, he is optimistic about chemotherapy. But even if chemotherapy works, there is the possibility that he may lose his sense of taste. This could be a severe blow to his culinary career, and yet I have read that he is hopeful. He stated that taste would not keep him from his career, just as deafness did not stop Beethoven from writing one of his greatest symphonies. I certainly hope that chemotherapy is successful because it would be heartbreaking to lose such a tremendous talent.
If you want, you can read the full article on Grant Achatz in the Chicago-Tribune. I found the article through Molecular Gastronomy News. Here's the link:
I hope that this first post has inspired someone to look into the career of this brilliant culinary mind, and that you will keep him in your prayers as he will be in mine.

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