culinary temples

Grace And Alinea

J.M. Towers

With three Michelin stars each, these two restaurants are Chicago's main culinary temples.

Chicago boasts a very refined gastronomic scene thanks to the hard work of chefs whose creations have been recognized with numerous awards. But, if we could highlight two culinary temples in the city, they would have to be Grace and Alinea restaurants, both awarded three Michelin stars.

652 W. Randolph Street, Chicago IL 60661

Grace and Alinea
Grace and Alinea
Grace Restaurant and Chef Curtis Duffy (left).

The passion for cooking shown by Chef Curtis Duffy began in his native Columbus, Ohio. After finishing his culinary training, he moved to Chicago and worked under the famous chef Charlie Trotters, and later at Trio restaurant. In 2012, he opened his own restaurant and named it “Grace”. There, he showcases a culinary concept based on elegance, polished technique, and great care to enhance the flavors and presentations, transforming each dish into a work of art. His innate talent has been rewarded with numerous awards, including his 3 prized Michelin stars. The restaurant’s interior has a sophisticated urban decor that highlights comfort and ease through soft tones. Chef Duffy has two menus that change seasonally, ‘Flora’ for vegetarians and ‘Fauna’ for those with no dietary restrictions. Both proposals are sophisticated, intricate and laborious, a work that can be seen in dishes as polished as Parsnip (malt, wild apple, marigold leaves), White Poppy (eggplant, ginger, shiso) Passion fruit (pineapple, lemongrass, chamomile), Osetra Caviar (brandade, lemon, chives) Miyazaki Beef (romaine lettuce, peanuts, Vietnamese herbs) and Chocolate (green olive, matcha, marigold leaves). An excellent wine cellar with some of the world’s finest wines and a discreet and attentive service complement a kitchen that stands out for its virtuosity.

1723 N. Halsted St., 60614 Chicago

Grace and Alinea
Grace and Alinea
Alinea Restaurant and Chef Grant Achatz (left).

Chef Grant Achatz took his first steps in the kitchen as a child when his parents owned a restaurant in Michigan. Having finished his studies at the Culinary Institute of America and after spending a short time with the great Charlie Trotters—just like chef Curtis Duffy—he discovered creative cuisine in the famous restaurant El Bulli in Spain, and at the emblematic California restaurant The French Laundry with Thomas Keller. Today, Achatz is one of the most awarded and recognized chefs in the world. Renowned for his innovative, emotional and modernist cooking style, he has been named Best Chef in America by the James Beard Foundation and honored by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Additionally, he has given talks and lectures on gastronomy in universities around the world. In 2004, Achatz opened his restaurant “Alinea”, a privileged space in which he expresses his culinary knowledge with respectful attention to detail. The dining room decoration, the crockery, cutlery, and glassware are of impeccable taste. For all those reasons, the Michelin guide has awarded him three stars, a ranking held by only twelve restaurants in the United States. His iconic tasting menu is a real gastronomic theater performance since it includes more than 20 courses and diners need at least three hours to taste it. Achatz‘s great success is based on his originality and intelligence and his conception of the kitchen as an extravagant treat in front of which the diner should surrender without remedy.

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