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Grant Achatz is an American chef and restaurateur often identified as one of the leaders in molecular gastronomy or progressive cuisine. Achatz's early culinary career included time spent working in his parents' Michigan restaurants as a teenager, followed by enrollment in The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Following graduation, Achatz landed a position at Thomas Keller's highly acclaimed restaurant, The French Laundry, in Yountville, California. Achatz spent four years at The French Laundry, rising to the position of sous chef.
In 2005, Achatz went out on his own, opening Alinea in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Inside, the restaurant has no bar, no lobby, and seats just 64 guests. Achatz serves diners a small-course tasting menu, running approximately 18 courses.
Achatz's other restaurants include Next, a restaurant that uses a unique ticketing system in Chicago, and Aviary, a cocktail bar.