Achatz spent four years at The French Laundry, rising to the position of sous chef. Career[ edit ] In , Achatz moved to the Chicago area to become the Executive Chef at Trio in Evanston, Illinois , which at the time of his arrival had a four-star rating from the Mobil Travel Guide. The restaurant is located up the block from the famed Steppenwolf Theatre Company and is housed in a modest gray brick building which bears no external markings beyond its street number. Inside, the restaurant has no bar, no lobby and seats just 64 guests. Achatz serves diners a small-course tasting menu , consisting of approximately 18 courses. After less than two years of operation, the Mobil Travel Guide bestowed its Five Star Award on Alinea, making Alinea one of just 16 restaurants nationwide to rate five stars for
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The artist drifts to sleep at night, to be awakened by the subliminal echoes of his or her next brilliant idea. Known for his innovative, emotional, and modernist style of cuisine he has been named Best Chef in the United States by the James Beard Foundation, honored by Time Magazine as one of the Most Influential People in the World, and has given talks and lectures on gastronomy and design at conferences and universities around the world.
Grant began working in restaurants as soon as he could walk. His parents owned a diner in Michigan and he spent his childhood years working alongside his family. Grant worked for a total of 5 years at the French Laundry eventually rising to chef de cuisine. He also spent a year working at La Jota vineyards during his time in California.
A short stage at elBulli in Roses, Spain was exceptionally influential and led Grant to seek out his first executive chef position at Trio in Evanston, IL. It was there that his creativity and desire to innovate flourished. In Grant began building his dream restaurant, Alinea. Partnering with restaurant neophyte Nick Kokonas they sought to redefine fine dining in America, questioning not only culinary concepts but also the guest experience, tableware design, and restaurant bookings.
The venerable Michelin Guide awarded Alinea their highest rating, 3-stars, a ranking held by only 12 restaurants in the United States.
In Grant was diagnosed with Stage IVb cancer of the tongue. The recommended course of treatment by multiple experts was a complete amputation of his tongue followed by radiation and chemotherapy. Even then he faced dismal odds and was told that he likely only had 2 years to live.
Instead, he sought out an innovative protocol at the University of Chicago, which after a grueling course of treatment has left him with no evidence of disease since The story is also featured in the nationally released documentary movie Spinning Plates.
Grant lives in Chicago and has two sons. He devotes his free time to work, even when he enjoys traveling and seeing new parts of the world. He manages the marketing, business development, and strategy for current and future operations. He never expected to be involved in the restaurant industry despite his Greek last name. Nick studied Philosophy at Colgate University and nearly attended law school at the urging of his professors. His interests remained, however, in business and entrepreneurship.
A year later he began trading options on currencies with a small account. In , his firm Third Moment Trading merged with a proprietary New York firm and the enterprise grew to over 70 employees making markets on exchanges from San Francisco to New York.
He left the firm in having achieved his initial goals and seeking to diversify his experience and interests in business. He is currently invested in and advises several vibrant tech companies. In Nick and his wife dined at Trio for the first time and met chef Achatz. A brief conversation after an astounding meal led to a quick collaboration to build what would become Alinea only 1 year to the day later.
He lives in Chicago with his wife Dagmara and their two sons and on sunny mornings can be found on golf courses somewhere in the world.
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Careers One moment as we prepare to welcome you On May 4th, we opened the doors to Alinea. The culmination of years of dreaming and imagination, Alinea was a minimalist modern vision that put the focal point on the cuisine and dining as an experience. What was modern design in when we began the project is unlikely to be cutting edge in