Grant Achatz from Alinea Restaurant Faces Struggle with Cancer

Grant Achatz: Alinea Restaurant (Chicago)

I have written extensively before about Grant Achatz, the Chef/Owner of Alinea Restaurant in Chicago. Today, I report this sad note posted recently by Phil Vettell in The Chicago Tribune:

“Grant Achatz, the young superstar chef whose restaurant, Alinea, is ranked among the very best in the world, announced that he has been diagnosed with an advanced stage of squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth. In layman’s terms, that’s a malignant cancer that has spread. It is life-threatening. The treatment, which Achatz says will be aggressive, won’t be pleasant.

I remain, and will remain, actively and optimistically engaged in operations at Alinea to the largest extent possible,” Achatz said in an email that’s still reverberating in the fine-dining world.

For anyone, this diagnosis would be terrible news. For an energetic, hands-on chef who’s never out of his kitchen, an illness affecting his mouth — and by extension, his sense of taste — followed by treatment whose side effects are often debilitating, gives this news a particularly awful poignancy.

In the fine-dining world, we carelessly use tragedy to describe a fallen souffle or a slump in business. Today, we received a heart-wrenching reminder of what that word really means.

Our thoughts, hopes and prayers go out to Achatz and his extended Alinea family.”

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3 Responses to “Grant Achatz from Alinea Restaurant Faces Struggle with Cancer”

  1. Lee Skelton Says:

    Grant, I don’t know if you remember me. I worked for your mom and dad for years…(almost 18). You were a young man when I was there, always in the kitchen, and wanting your dad to make his plates look more appetizing….how right you were! (ha ha)
    I have heard of your sad diagnosis’s and I want you to know that my thoughts are with you. Fight this awful disease………Good luck to you Grant.
    Lee Skelton

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