Grant Achatz

“Constant creativity and continuous evolution.” Grant Achatz’s own words and his raison d’être. Born in Michigan, Achatz grew up in a family of restaurateurs. As a child he spent most of his free time in the kitchen, where he learned the basics and developed the skills that would allow him to become one of the foremost innovators in the culinary world. Achatz enrolled at The Culinary Institute of America immediately after graduating high school.

He ascended the culinary ladder at several prestigious restaurants, including the acclaimed French Laundry in Napa Valley. After four years there, 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 restaurant Trio in Evanston, IL.

Achatz was named one of ten “Best New Chefs in America” by Food & Wine magazine in 2002 and a “Rising Star Chef” by the James Beard Foundation in 2003. Under Achatz’s lead, Trio received four stars from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago magazine and garnered five stars from the Mobil Travel Guide in 2004. Achatz realized a lifelong dream by opening Alinea in Chicago in May 2005.

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. And between 2008 and 2009, Achatz picked up two James Beard Awards, the first for “Outstanding Chef” and the second (in 2009) for “Cookbook of the Year” for his first cookbook Alinea. Alinea is also ranked tenth in the 2009 San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants.