Why does a restaurant have to have a permanent address? The answer might seem obvious, but revolutionary chef Grant Achatz doesn’t seem to think so.
Achatz has already turned upside-down the preconception that cocktails have to be liquid, that food has to be served on plates, that reservations should be taken on the phone, and now he’s looking to disrupt the concept of location.
Achatz believes that a restaurant is not about the building, the kitchen, the tools, but about the team within it. He reasons that if one were to transport the team to a different location, the restaurant automatically would come too. Is location then entirely superfluous if a restaurant could exist perpetually on tour?
Aligning it to a performance troupe or a circus, Achatz believes a restaurant would function perfectly “on the road”, arguing that the only reason against it is that it has not yet been attempted.
While the idea of a constantly travelling restaurant has not yet been tried, there are many examples of restaurants defying the constraints of their address: Achatz himself took Alinea, Chicago to Eleven Madison Park, New York; René Redzepi put Noma on the road all the way to Claridges, London; Thomas Keller even transcended continents when The French Laundry, California, arrived in London department store Harrods.
Achatz has his eyes nationally focussed for the time being, thinking of Alinea, Los Angeles, and Miami. But were those ventures to prove successful then Paris, London, and even Tokyo could be next.