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Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat

by and

Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"One of America's great chefs" (Vogue) shares how his drive to cook immaculate food won him international renown-and fueled his miraculous triumph over tongue cancer.

In 2007, chef Grant Achatz seemingly had it made. He had been named one of the best new chefs in America by Food & Wine in 2002, received the James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year Award in 2003, and in 2005 he and Nick Kokonas opened the conceptually radical restaurant Alinea, which was named Best Restaurant in America by Gourmet magazine. Then, positioned firmly in the world's culinary spotlight, Achatz was diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma-tongue cancer.

The prognosis was grim, and doctors agreed the only course of action was to remove the cancerous tissue, which included his entire tongue. Desperate to preserve his quality of life, Grant undertook an alternative treatment of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation. But the choice came at a cost. Skin peeled from the inside of Grant's mouth and throat, he rapidly lost weight, and most alarmingly, he lost his sense of taste. Tapping into the discipline, passion, and focus of being a chef, Grant rarely missed a day of work. He trained his chefs to mimic his palate and learned how to cook with his other senses. As Kokonas was able to attest: The food was never better. Five months later, Grant was declared cancer-free, and just a few months following, he received the James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef in America Award.

Life, on the Line tells the story of a culinary trailblazer's love affair with cooking, but it is also a book about survival, about nurturing creativity, and about profound friendship. Already much-anticipated by followers of progressive cuisine, Grant and Nick's gripping narrative is filled with stories from the world's most renowned kitchens — The French Laundry, Charlie Trotter's, el Bulli — and sure to expand the audience that made Alinea the number-one selling restaurant cookbook in America last year.

Review:

"[Life, on the Line] may be the best, most inspiring chef memoir ever written." American Way

Review:

"[Life, on the Line] is full of energy and without pretense." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"The next great food memoir." Details

Review:

"This must-read for the culinary crowd is the literary equivalent of caviar and Krug. Foodies will marvel at Achatz's thought process on his molecular creations, while Kokona's provides a detailed glimpse of the artistic vision and creation of modern fine dining." Booklist

Review:

"Writing with the panache of professionals, Achatz, chef and owner of Chicago's Alinea, and his business partner, Kokonas, relate the story of Achatz's life and work in a memoir that lives up to its expansive subtitle....Achatz and Kokonas share an engaging, well-written, and informative description of what it's like to work in commercial kitchens along with the stirring story of Achatz's fight for his life." Library Journal

Review:

"This is an autobiography that rises above both [the food and cancer] genres. Achatz's story is a compelling tale of artistic genius that will make you cry and, if you are in the Chicago area, perhaps shell out $200 a person to eat his food." Associated Press

Review:

"What is amazing to me, a writer who's been covering this industry since about the time Grant arrived at the French Laundry, is the honesty and jarring frankness with which Grant and Nick write, from every angle-personal, emotional, even financial. Grant's career, the opening of Alinea, his beating cancer — it's a hell of a story." Michael Ruhlman, author of Ratios and Soul of Chef

Synopsis:

By 2007 chef Grant Achatz had been named one of the best new chefs in America by Food & Wine, he had received the James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, and he and Nick Kokonas had opened the conceptually radical restaurant Alinea, which was named Best Restaurant in America by Gourmet magazine. Then, positioned firmly in the world's culinary spotlight, Achatz was diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma-tongue cancer.

The prognosis grim, Grant undertook an alternative treatment of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation that ravaged his body and left him without a sense of taste. Tapping into his profound discipline and passion, he trained his chefs to mimic his palate and learned how to cook with his other senses. As Kokonas was able to attest, the food was never better. Five months later, Grant was declared cancer-free and went on to achieve some of the highest honors in the culinary world. Life, on the Line is not only a chef's memoir, it is also a book about survival, about nurturing creativity, and about profound friendship.

About the Author

Grant Achatz is the owner of Alinea, Next and The Aviary in Chicago. He lives in Chicago.

Nick Kokonas partnered with Grant Achatz to develop Alinea, Next and The Aviary. He lives with his wife and two sons in Chicago.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781592406975
Author:
Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas
Publisher:
Gotham Books
Author:
Achatz, Grant
Author:
Kokonas, Nick
Subject:
Biography-Cooking
Subject:
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20120331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8.99 x 6.09 x 1.08 in 1.53 lb
Age Level:
from 18

Related Subjects

Biography » Cooking
Biography » General
Biography » Medical
Cooking and Food » Baking » Professional Baking and Desserts
Cooking and Food » Featured Chefs » Chefs
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » Gastronomic Literature
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » General
Cooking and Food » General
Cooking and Food » Professional and Quantity » General
Featured Titles » Biography
Featured Titles » General

Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Gotham Books - English 9781592406975 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[Life, on the Line] may be the best, most inspiring chef memoir ever written."
"Review" by , "[Life, on the Line] is full of energy and without pretense."
"Review" by , "The next great food memoir."
"Review" by , "This must-read for the culinary crowd is the literary equivalent of caviar and Krug. Foodies will marvel at Achatz's thought process on his molecular creations, while Kokona's provides a detailed glimpse of the artistic vision and creation of modern fine dining."
"Review" by , "Writing with the panache of professionals, Achatz, chef and owner of Chicago's Alinea, and his business partner, Kokonas, relate the story of Achatz's life and work in a memoir that lives up to its expansive subtitle....Achatz and Kokonas share an engaging, well-written, and informative description of what it's like to work in commercial kitchens along with the stirring story of Achatz's fight for his life."
"Review" by , "This is an autobiography that rises above both [the food and cancer] genres. Achatz's story is a compelling tale of artistic genius that will make you cry and, if you are in the Chicago area, perhaps shell out $200 a person to eat his food."
"Review" by , "What is amazing to me, a writer who's been covering this industry since about the time Grant arrived at the French Laundry, is the honesty and jarring frankness with which Grant and Nick write, from every angle-personal, emotional, even financial. Grant's career, the opening of Alinea, his beating cancer — it's a hell of a story."
"Synopsis" by , By 2007 chef Grant Achatz had been named one of the best new chefs in America by Food & Wine, he had received the James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, and he and Nick Kokonas had opened the conceptually radical restaurant Alinea, which was named Best Restaurant in America by Gourmet magazine. Then, positioned firmly in the world's culinary spotlight, Achatz was diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma-tongue cancer.

The prognosis grim, Grant undertook an alternative treatment of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation that ravaged his body and left him without a sense of taste. Tapping into his profound discipline and passion, he trained his chefs to mimic his palate and learned how to cook with his other senses. As Kokonas was able to attest, the food was never better. Five months later, Grant was declared cancer-free and went on to achieve some of the highest honors in the culinary world. Life, on the Line is not only a chef's memoir, it is also a book about survival, about nurturing creativity, and about profound friendship.

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