Posts Tagged ‘alinea’

Achatz is blogging

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009


I just discovered that The Atlantic features a blog by Grant Achatz of Alinea. Under the title “Back of the house” we get a peek “Inside the restlessly creative mind and kitchen of Grant Achatz” according to The Atlantic. Grant has so far reported from the Madrid Fusion in January (four posts) and in the latest post he describes how a visit to Japan has inspired him to explore manipulation of the environment at Alinea. Comments are allowed and Grant is actively involved in the discussions. Recommended reading!

The Big Fat Duck Cookbook

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

I recently blogged about the Alinea cookbook, and then in a Q&A with both Grant Achatz and Heston Blumenthal I discovered that there is another great cook book coming up this fall: The Big Fat Duck Cookbook! It’s quite amazing that these two books will be released within weeks of each other this fall.

This is what the publisher promises us:

In the first section of The Big Fat Duck Cookbook, we learn the history of the restaurant, from its humble beginnings to its third Michelin star (the day Heston received the news of this he had been wondering how exactly he would be able to pay his staff that month). Next we meet 50 of his signature recipes – sardine on toast sorbet, salmon poached with liquorice, hot and iced tea, chocolate wine – which, while challenging for anyone not equipped with ice baths, dehydrators, vacuum pumps and nitrogen on tap, will inspire home cooks and chefs alike. Finally, we hear from the experts whose scientific know-how has contributed to Heston’s topsy-turvy world, on subjects as diverse as synaesthesia, creaminess and flavour expectation.

With an introduction by Harold McGee, incredible colour photographs throughout, illustrations by Dave McKean, multiple ribbons, real cloth binding and a gorgeous slip case, The Big Fat Duck Cookbook is not only the nearest thing to an autobiography from the world’s most fascinating chef, but also a stunning, colourful and joyous work of art.

Compared to the Alinea cookbook this one is one is more expensive and has fewer recipes. But hey – who buys cookbooks based on the price/recipe anyway?

Alinea cookbook

Saturday, March 29th, 2008


For more than a decade Ferran Adriá has allowed us to take part in the creative process through the magnificent El Bulli books. And now – finally – we will have the opportunity to look behind the curtains in another top restaurant where molecular gastronomy is practiced. The book Alinea, named after the Chicago restaurant headed by chef Grant Achatz, is due to appear in October this year. According to the publisher, this is what to expect:

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.

More links:
Alinea book homepage

Chow: Behind the scenes at Alinea

Monday, February 26th, 2007

The red sheet (in the not yet finished dish) is made by heating Campari, beet root juice, salt and sugar, followed by addition of agar agar. The color and texture look marvelous!

Chow has a nice picture-by-picture guide (featuring photos by Stephanie Willis) to the dish “Short rib – beets, cranberry, Campari” served at Alinea.

…If only it were that simple. Chef Grant Achatz says the actual ingredients are “short rib, beet-Campari juice, roasted baby golden beet, beet-green marmalade, braised beet greens, beet pí¢te de fruit, beet chips, three different types of fennel garnish, cranberry sauce, caramelized fennel purée … man, I guess that is a lot.” A colleague reminds him about fennel pollen, cranberry powder, and Murray River salt.