Dinner and a couple of cookbooks, $1,500
Sometimes when cookbook authors are out promoting their new books, they’ll run into each other and have dinner. Grant Achatz and Thomas Keller are taking that several steps further. Achatz, named chef of the year for the United States by the James Beard Foundation this year for his work at Chicago’s Alinea, worked for Keller for several years at the French Laundry and credits him as a career-changing mentor. So when the two learned that Achatz’s “Alinea” cookbook was going to be published at the same time as Keller’s new “Under Pressure,” the two cooked up a plan to host a series of three dinners rotating among Alinea, the French Laundry and Keller’s New York City restaurant Per Se.
Of course, Achatz and Keller being who they are, these aren’t going to be your rote “here’s a couple of recipes from my book” menus. Instead, they’ll be 20-dish blowouts with each chef preparing half the menu in alternating courses. The dinners will be held at Per Se on Nov. 11, at Alinea on Dec. 2 and at the French Laundry, Dec. 9. Each meal will be limited to the first 65 people who sign up.
And as you might expect, Achatz and Keller being who they are, the meals won’t come cheap. The dinners will run $1,500 per person. But hey, that includes matching wine pairings for each course and signed copies of both books!
For more information, contact the restaurants: Per Se (212) 823-9450; Alinea (312) 867-0110 and the French Laundry (707) 754-4175.
-- Russ Parsons
Grant Achatz and Thomas Keller at the French Laundry's 10th anniversary celebration (Photo from the French Laundry).