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Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas present Life on the Line: Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat ($27.50). At the age of 36, Grant Achatz, owner, creator, and visionary behind Chicago's Alinea restaurant, has earned virtually every desirable accolade in the culinary world. His greatest achievement thus far, however, may be surviving. For, in 2007, just as all of the stuff of his personal and professional dreams was falling into place, Achatz was diagnosed with Stage IV squamous cell carcinoma—tongue cancer.
In Life on the Line, Achatz and co-author Kokonas, his business partner and close friend, tell the compelling story of Achatz's journey from "chief egg-cracker" at his grandmother's restaurant to Culinary Institute of America student; from frustrated and disappointed line cook under one world-famous chef to eager and valued sous chef under another—Thomas Keller of Napa's French Laundry, who would become his role model and mentor; from transformative executive chef at the four-star Chicago restaurant Trio, to trail-blazing chef and co-owner of one of the finest restaurants in the world. Finally, Achatz and Kokonas share the most remarkable part of this already incredible and inspiring life story: Achatz's diagnosis, battle with, and odds-defying recovery from a cancer that could have progressively robbed him of his speech, his palate, and his life.
Grant Achatz is the chef and co-owner of Alinea restaurant in Chicago, named, in April 2010, the #1 Restaurant in North America and the #7 restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine. Nick Kokonas partnered with Grant Achatz in 2005 to develop Alinea, where he remains actively engaged in strategy, marketing, and business planning.
"One of America's great chefs" (Vogue) shares how his drive to cook immaculate food won him international renown-and fueled his miraculous triumph over tongue cancer.