ALINEA, a new restaurant in Chicago, has been designated America's number one restaurant by Gourmet Magazine. Grant Achatz, born in Michigan in 1974, is Alinea's Chef and owner. Grant grew up in the restaurant industry, with both his parents and grandparents being restaurateurs. After graduation from high school he immediately enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America.
Excelling at the C.I.A., Achatz graduated and ascended the culinary ladder at several prestigious restaurants, including the acclaimed French Laundry in Napa Valley. Working closely with Thomas Keller, Achatz thrived in this highly creative and dedicated environment, and after two years became sous chef to Keller. After four years at the French Laundry, 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" Trio (Evanston, IL.). Achatz flourished at Trio, garnering accolades including the "Rising Star Chef of the Year", The James Beard Foundation, 2003 and one of the ten "Best New Chefs in America", Food & Wine, 2002. Under Achatz' lead, Trio received four stars from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine and garnered five stars from the celebrated Mobil Travel Guide in 2004. Known in culinary circles as a leader in the forward-thinking movement, Achatz realized a lifelong dream by opening ALINEA in May, 2005.
The article, appearing in the latest issue of Gourmet Magazine, also has a slideshow about Alinea and provides a ranked listing of the Top 50 Restaurants.