Born in Michigan in 1974, Grant Achatz grew up in the restaurant industry, with his parents and grandparents both restaurateurs. Today he is at the forefront of molecular gastronomy and progressive cuisine.
From an early age he began learning the basics, developing the skills that would allow him to become one of the foremost innovators in the culinary field. Upon graduating from high school, he immediately enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America. Excelling at the C.I.A., Achatz graduated and joined the kitchens of several prestigious restaurants, including the acclaimed French Laundry in the Napa Valley.
Working closely with Thomas Keller, Achatz thrived in this highly creative and dedicated environment, and after two years became sous chef to Keller. After four years at the French Laundry, Achatz chose to broaden his knowledge and worked as an assistant winemaker at La Jota Vineyards. In 2001, he accepted the executive chef position at the four-star Trio (Evanston, Il.). Achatz flourished at Trio, garnering a plethora of accolades.
Realising his life long dream of owning his own restaurant, Achatz opened Alinea in Chicago in May 2005. The restaurant was well received by press and public and was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as the Best New Restaurant in America that same year. Under Chef Achatz’ leadership, Alinea has received worldwide attention for its hypermodern, emotional approach to dining. Alinea has received four stars from both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago magazine, Achatz was named the “next great American chef” by The New York Times in September 2005 and in October 2006 Alinea received Five Diamonds from AAA. Ruth Reichl of Gourmet magazine declared Alinea the “Best Restaurant in America” in its twice-per-decade list of America’s Top 50 Restaurants.
In 2011 Achatz opened his second restaurant Next and cocktail lounge Aviary both of which have been awarded James Beard awards. Chef Achatz has appeared on the Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, The Food Network, The Discovery Channel and PBS.
Describe your culinary philosophy in 5 words...
Original, honest, observant, emotional, sensory.
What is your greatest inspiration?
If you could take a plane ride to any restaurant in the world, just for one meal, where would you go?
Aronia de Takazawa in Tokyo.
What three things would you take to a desert island?
Salt, my girlfriend and a bottle of Champagne.
- Michelin 3 Stars since 2011
- James Beard Foundation, Outstanding Chef 2008
- Time Magazine, 100 Most Influential People 2010
- Elite Traveler, Elite 100 Restaurants winner
1723 North Halsted,
+1 312 867 0110