A pioneer in American cuisine, chef Grant Achatz represents the best of the molecular gastronomy movement--brilliant fundamentals and exquisite taste paired with a groundbreaking approach to new techniques and equipment. Read more...
A pioneer in American cuisine, chef Grant Achatz represents the best of the molecular gastronomy movement--brilliant fundamentals and exquisite taste paired with a groundbreaking approach to new techniques and equipment. ALINEA showcases Achatz's cuisine with more than 100 dishes (totaling 600 recipes) and 600 photographs presented in a deluxe volume. Three feature pieces frame the book: Michael Ruhlman considers Alinea's role in the global dining scene, Jeffrey Steingarten offers his distinctive take on dining at the restaurant, and Mark McClusky explores the role of technology in the Alinea kitchen. Buyers of the book will receive access to a website featuring video demonstrations, interviews, and an online forum that allows readers to interact with Achatz and his team.
"Achatz is something new on the national culinary landscape: a chef as ambitious as Thomas Keller who wants to make his mark not with perfection but with constant innovation . . . Get close enough to sit down and allow yourself to be teased, challenged, and coddled by Achatz's version of this kind of cooking, and you can have one of the most enjoyable culinary adventures of your life." --Corby Kummer, senior editor of Atlantic Monthly
"Someone new has entered the arena. His name is Grant Achatz, and he is redefining the American restaurant once again for an entirely new generation . . . Alinea is in perpetual motion; having eaten here once, you can't wait to come back, to see what Achatz will come up with next." --GourmetReviews & AwardsJames Beard Foundation Cookbook Award Finalist: Cooking from a professional Point of View Category James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef Award "Even if your kitchen isn't equipped with a paint-stripping heat gun, thermocirculator, or refractometer, and you're only vaguely aware that chefs use siphons and foams in contemporary cooking, you can enjoy this daring cookbook from Grant Achatz of the Chicago restaurant Alinea.. . . While the recipes can hardly become part of your everday cooking, this book is far too interesting to be left on the coffee table. As you read, a question emerges: Is Alinea's food art? . . . I go a little further, describing Achatz with a word that he would probably never use to describe himself: avant-garde, as it defined art movements at the beginning of the last century--planned, self-concious, and structured attempts to provoke and shake the status quo. Just as with those artists, the results are not necessarily as interesting as the intentions and concepts behind them. In this sense, this volume constitutes a full-blown although not threatening manifesto."--Art of Eating
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 59.
- Review Date: 2008-09-15
- Reviewer: Staff
Spain boasts Ferran Adrià’s restaurant, elBulli, to push modern cooking’s boundaries, but the Chicago restaurant Alinea has its own molecular gastronomy wunderkind in Grant Achatz as he takes food in previously unimagined directions. This cookbook presents the exact recipes, grouped by season, from the restaurant kitchen, such as Yolk Drops with Asparagus, Lemon and Black Pepper or Bison with Beets, Blueberries and Burning Cinnamon, along with gorgeous closeup photographs of these jaw-droppingly fanciful creations. The book opens with essays by food world elder statesmen, including Michael Ruhlman and Jeffrey Steingarten, who lavish praise on Achatz’s approach, and Michael Nagrant, who explores the Alinea philosophy through a dish called “Black Truffle Explosion.” Achatz himself eloquently explains 10 techniques he uses at the restaurant to achieve his culinary goals, from “bouncing flavors” to custom service ware and aroma manipulation. Though readers are encouraged to make the recipes, or at least interpret them so as to “craft an experience similar to dining at the restaurant,” where every minute involves intensive engagement with the food, most people will value the book more as a beautifully produced insight into Achatz’s creativity and perhaps a spur to their own, even when they are not making spheres of beet juice or mozzarella balloons. Purchase includes access to a companion Web site with video demonstrations, interviews and an forum with Achatz and his team. (Oct.)