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In this curious memoir, chef Achatz and his business partner, Kokonas tell of their Chicago restaurant, Alinea, as well as his cancer diagnosis and recovery. Achatz grew up in Michigan in and around restaurants, the only child of a troubled marriage who spent an otherwise contented adolescence around kitchens. He eventually attended the Culinary Institute of America and studied with Charlie Trotter and Thomas Keller with whom he began developing both his palate and culinary vision. He returned to Chicago, where he met Kokonas, who became his business partner in 2005, when they opened Alinea. As Alinea evolves from drawing board to reality, the narrative alternates between the two men's voices. They discuss finding the right team of chefs and dealing with Achatz's diagnosis with stage IV tongue cancer. The various narratives--childhood, professional development, Alinea, Kokonas, illness--have individual strengths, but the whole feels oddly disjointed and in places, such as the section on the restaurant's genesis and development, turn into more of a business how-to. Nevertheless, the authors duly convey their passion as well as a solid business philosophy. (Mar.)
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This must-read for the culinary crowd is the literary equivalent of caviar and Krug. Foodies will marvel at Achatz�s thought process on his molecular creations, while Kokonas provides a detailed glimpse of the artistic vision and creation of modern fine dining. The book takes readers into the passionate environment of a revolutionary kitchen, and through the eyes of the authors we are introduced to the future of gastronomy. Achatz�s battle had its time in the �weeds��his troubles with food writers, family relationships, and stage IV tongue cancer�but with perseverance and fortitude, he became one of the most controversial and respected chefs, ultimately opening what some critics call the best restaurant in North America, Chicago�s Alinea. Kokonas was first introduced to the prodigy at Trio, where Achatz started his executive-chef career. After dining on hundreds of dexterous courses, Kokonas decided to stop gambling on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and create a restaurant with the then 29-year-old, and what began as a business venture became an indispensable friendship. --Brian Lesson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Editorial Reviews
Because it was a biography I kept reading but as far as it being well written....it just wasn't. The book was written by his partner who really believe in Mr. Achatz. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Arizona Steve
I liked it so well, that I bought two to give to my sister and to my niece.Published 2 months ago by ortelio foyo-carbonell
A good read. Inspiring on the mind of a chef. How it started to how great he is as a chef. A must if you are in the culinary arts.Published 2 months ago by cathy
This gripping true story is full of fast-paced action and real life drama. I was completely absorbed from start to finish. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Denver Hawkeye
Amazing insight on what it takes to be the best restaurant in the states and at the top of the world's best.
Incredible story of survival. Read more
Amazing read. You don't have to be a "foodie" to enjoy this book. This is about a man determined to succeed and live through all that life and it's circumstances could... Read morePublished 4 months ago by dagny