Search

Foodie Freebie Friday: Alinea

Photobucket

Happy Monday and welcome back! Did you have a good weekend? I hope that you had a chance to relax and perhaps have a little culinary adventure in your corner of the world. Over the weekend, I had a few culinary adventures of my own with What's Cookin, Chicago including:

Wine & Dine: Australia - We got together to learn more about the cuisine and wines of Australia, with a few recipes to share.

Neighborhood Taste Tour: Maxwell Street Market - We took a trip to this open-air market and got to indulge in some authentic Mexican eats, learn more about new fruits and vegetables and enjoy the sights and sounds.

Now to start off this new week, I've got a special Foodie Freebie Friday. Aside from the great food and ethnic neighborhoods that make up Chicago, we certainly have our share of chef rockstars. One such rockstar is Grant Achatz.

Grant Achatz grew up in the restaurants industry since his parents and grandparents owned restaurants in Michigan. Naturally, he decided to enter the culinary field and became a student at the Culinary Instititue of America in New York. Once he graduated, he worked his way up to a sous chef position after four years at Thomas Keller's renowned restaurant, The French Laundry. He then moved to Chicago to become an executive chef of the restaurant, Trio. He worked three years there before starting his own restaurant, Alinea.


His culinary point of view takes on molecular gastronomy. Grant takes food to a whole new level and diners are immersed in an experience using all their senses - sight, sound, texture and taste. It's no wonder that Alinea was named the best restaurant in America in 2006 and is just one of sixteen restaurants in the United States that received 5 stars in 2007.



But 2007 was a difficult year for Grant, despite the accolades he received for Alinea. In July of that year, Grant was diagnosed with stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth. He underwent aggressive treatment and before the end of the year, his cancer was in full remission. He continues to work on exciting creations at Alinea and just shy of a year after being cancer free, he published this week's Foodie Freebie Friday - Alinea.

Spain boasts Ferran Adria's restaurant, elBulli, to push modern cooking's boundaries, but the Chicago restaurant Alinea has its own molecular gastronomy wunderkind in Grant Achatz as he takes food in previously unimagined directions. This cookbook presents the exact recipes, grouped by season, from the restaurant kitchen, such as Yolk Drops with Asparagus, Lemon and Black Pepper or Bison with Beets, Blueberries and Burning Cinnamon, along with gorgeous closeup photographs of these jaw-droppingly fanciful creations. The book opens with essays by food world elder statesmen, including Michael Ruhlman and Jeffrey Steingarten, who lavish praise on Achatz's approach, and Michael Nagrant, who explores the Alinea philosophy through a dish called "Black Truffle Explosion." Achatz himself eloquently explains 10 techniques he uses at the restaurant to achieve his culinary goals, from "bouncing flavors" to custom service ware and aroma manipulation. Though readers are encouraged to make the recipes, or at least interpret them so as to "craft an experience similar to dining at the restaurant," where every minute involves intensive engagement with the food, most people will value the book more as a beautifully produced insight into Achatz's creativity and perhaps a spur to their own, even when they are not making spheres of beet juice or mozzarella balloons. -- Publishers Weekly/Amazon

Some guidelines:
- Giveaway is only for those who live in the United States - my apologies to my international readers!
- You must have a valid email address (within your comment or blog link) so that you can be contacted if you win.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment answering:

- If you lost your sense of taste, what foods would you miss most?


Deadline:
Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 12 midnight CST.

ONE WINNER will be randomly chosen by Random. Org's Interger Generator based on the number of your comment and will be announced on Friday, August 21, 2009. Good luck!

49 comments

  1. Chocolate.. like a chocolate shake, a sundae with hot fudge topping, with peanuts (think m&m's), choc and pretzels, or Vosges with curry & coconut - so many options! I don't really eat a lot of it but's it' what I'd miss the most. Kurt

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mexican. I love the spices used and just everything about it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would miss peanut butter. Definetely.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would miss eclairs....I love them, I love the chocolate, the custard filling and the light and fluffy pastry. To me, that is absolute food heaven.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I tend to enjoy food for the texture more often than the taste alone, so this is a good question. Some of my favorite texture foods include quinoa, mousse and yogurt. I believe I would miss south Indian cuisine the most. I find the textures to be ordinary, but the taste and spices to be excellent.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, such a tough question! I don't even want to think about losing my sense of taste.

    I think I would miss peaches the most. They're my favorite fruit, and I am in heaven right now since it's peach season at the farmer's markets.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would miss chocolate and strawberries the most.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh so many! Curry, red pepper, cumin. Anything spicy!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think it's a tie between peanut butter and chocolate. There are so many tastes I love, but I eat at least a little of both of those every day!

    ReplyDelete
  10. my aunt's finnish cardamom bread - that would be what I would miss the most

    ReplyDelete
  11. I would miss vine ripe tomatoes dusted with fresh tender basil with fresh mozzarella accompanied with my fathers homemade Kalamata extra virgin olive oil.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Chocolate and strawberries... on the savory side, garlic and onions.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Probably garlic - I absolutely love it! And popcorn. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lemon - the juicy, bright tartness of it

    ReplyDelete
  15. Mine is a tie between coffee and chips and dip. Nothing fancy but both so good!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think I would miss my favorite comfort foods the most - pot roast with mashed potatoes and gravy, meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy, and Rocky Road ice cream.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Its hard to pick a single food I'd miss. Strong flavors would probably be the most missed as you are used to expecting the flavor. Probably something like tortilla soup would be the hardest as it combines things like cumin, cilantro, lime, tomato, and the heat and flavor of chilis.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I would miss the taste of lemons. Lemonade, marinades, pastas- I just love the fresh tartness of lemons!

    ReplyDelete
  19. The sweet/salty combo. Caramel and cheese corn mixed together. (Totally a Chicago thing!)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Chocolate- hands down! I love it in many forms, ice cream, cookies, cupcakes.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Garlic! oh god I would die without garlic!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow, what a question. I would miss Caramel cake.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Another vote for peanut butter!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I would miss strawberries. They are my favorite fruit ever!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I would definitely miss fresh fruit like strawberries, peaches and pineapple.

    ReplyDelete
  26. CocaCola Chocolate Cake for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'd miss toast with peanut butter and strawberry jam...my comfort food!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'd miss citrus fruits...so bright and flavorful!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Chocolate! Salsa ranks high too.

    ReplyDelete
  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I would definitely miss chocolate! I usually try to sneak a little bit every day. =)

    evitawylie at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Garlic! I couldn't live without it.

    ReplyDelete
  33. For me, it would probably be burrito's!

    jennie748 at sbcglobal dot net

    ReplyDelete
  34. i have dreamed about eating at Alinea for years! Maybe as a celebration when/if i finish my graduate degree... the cookbook looks amazing.

    If i lost my sense of taste, i would miss certain sharp, poignant tastes that i adore: rich, aged balsamic vinegar is probably at the top of my list. Also French mustard. Although it's not a sharp taste, i would also miss the delightful vibrancy of the locally produced extra virgin olive oil i just tasted in Italy.

    Email: matt_owns_me{at}yahoo{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Citric fruit. Bursting open an orange, lemon, lime, etc., you can almost, but not quite, taste the luscious flavor through its scent. A real tease, until you can actually taste.

    ReplyDelete
  36. If I lost my sense of taste, I would truly miss all the different cheeses. Oh, how I love cheese. Pineapples and chocolates are probably next on the list. But cheese is my number 1.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I love the taste of cumin and of garlic.
    I would also definitely miss chocolate and vanilla.

    ReplyDelete
  38. At first I was thinking I'd miss chocolate the most, but after a few moments, I know I would miss the taste of a perfectly cooked, medium rare steak!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I think roasted garlic is what I'd miss the most... I will pop whole cloves in my mouth because I love it so much! It is interesting to hear about Achatz's sense of taste as he battled cancer and still cooked away. One of my coworkers from the Chopping Block is going to Alinea this week, and I"m so jealous! Maybe some day I'll get to go :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. I would miss salty/savory foods the most - buttered popcorn, blue cheese,steak with garlic peppercorn rub. I would also miss this really good white wine I tasted/bought/consumed a month ago.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'd miss so much but I think what I would miss the most are being able to savor perfect hot/iced lattes and real French croissants. Those are subtle and satisfying flavors. I also love complex and robust flavors in foods, so I would miss spices and Greek feta too as well as so many other foods and tastes!

    ReplyDelete
  42. cheese any cheese all cheese!

    ReplyDelete