No Backlash in Sight for Alinea
By Chuck Sudo in Food on Feb 5, 2007 6:00PM
The annual Jean Banchet Awards were handed out last Friday, at the Fairmont Chicago's annual Grand Chefs Gala (proceeds from the event benefitted the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation). No surprise here, but Alinea racked up more awards — for best fine dining, best sommelier in Craig Sindelar, and — of course — Grant Achatz for Celebrity chef of the year.
Other Banchet winers included Custom House's Elissa Narrow (celebrity pastry chef), Schwa's Michael Carlson (rising chef), and Suzanne Imaz of Nomi (rising pastry chef). Le Bouchon was awarded best neighborhood restaurant, and Designed Cuisine took home best catering company honors.
The story of the night, or non-story, considering the slew of accolades they always earn, was Alinea. If there's been a story or profile of Achatz written in the past three years critical of the man, we're hard-pressed to find it. And we've looked, trust us. The zone he's in right now is likened to spinning gold from straw.