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This Is What We Call a "Teaser"

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 26, 2007 3:41PM

2007_02_teaser.jpgWe always thought the making of a chef started in a kitchen, and progressed from there. Anyway, as part of their "Traffic Jam" series, Steppenwolf Theatre is hosting a discussion this Sunday between Alinea owner/chef Grant Achatz and author Michael Ruhlman. The discussion, called "The Making of a Chef," will cover the "hypermodern" culinary movement of which Achatz is largely considered the herald, the place of the "celebrity" chef in America, and what defines excellence in an industry as increasingly PR-driven as the five-star dining concept. It should be an interesting conversation between two intelligent and passionate men; although Ruhlman's a skeptic of the science food movement, he sings the praises of Achatz. It seems to be a running theme among critics who regard molecular gastronomy as smoke and mirrors, but allow that Achatz is the exception to the rule.

To that end, this week we'll be featuring a two-part "Chicagoist Grills" in which we try to get our own answers on the subject, from the perpectives of both chef and critic. Tomorrow, we'll run an interview with Ruhlman, one of the best narrative journalists and food writers working today. Thursday, we'll feature an extensive interview with Achatz. Now you have two more reasons to waste time at work. Pencil them in.

Ruhlman image via author's website. Achatz image via Alinea website.