Award-winning Chicago chef Grant Achatz, owner and head chef of top-rated restaurant Alinea, has a squamous cell carcinoma in his mouth, he announced yesterday. While doctors believe his long-term prognosis is good, it is possible that the chemotherapy necessary to treat the cancer will deprive Achatz of his sense of taste.
The 33-year old Achatz cut his culinary teeth at the French Laundry in Napa Valley and Trio in Evanston, Ill. He was named one of the Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine magazine and a Rising Star Chef by the James Beard Foundation. Said fellow Chicago chef Charlie Trotter, "everybody is pulling for this guy." (Read more Phil Vettel stories.)