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Grant Achatz’s Existential Menu Crisis

We imagine most restaurant menu meetings focus on what’s in season or maybe what dishes customers particularly enjoyed. But Grant Achatz worries about nothing less than the whole culinary world closing in. In a particularly revealing video posted to the Alinea’s YouTube channel, Achatz meets with his fellow chefs to discuss changes to the menu, and his unending search to “push it more.”

He seems concerned with the problem of developing a style without getting stuck in a rut. The culprit of his self doubt is a dish of squid and green garbanzo beans. Achatz’s girlfriend Heather Sperling, who is also the Chicago editor of Tasting Table, mentioned that it was her favorite dish on a recent visit to the Publican, which reminded him of a dish on their own menu. “Did they get that from us, or did we get that from them?”

The Publican version of the squid and green garbanzo bean dish is off the menu tonight, though it will probably be back on by Thursday. Let us know if you try it.

Tedious Alinea Menu Reveals Achatz’s Perfectionism [Eater]

Grant Achatz’s Existential Menu Crisis