Have you ever wondered what knife Grant Achatz uses? What about if he ever plans to open a fast food restaurant? Or what about the best meal he’s ever eaten in France?
These questions and more were all answered in a recent Reddit Ask Me Anything post hosting by Achatz and his business partner Nick Kokonas.
The duo took a number of questions from fans who were eager to get to know more about the duo who have impacted American fine dining massively with their Alinea and more recently NEXT restaurants in Chicago.
There are many questions covering a wide range of topics, and, as with all Reddit sessions like this, the pair were open, transparent and honest.
Below are a few of our favourite questions and answers. You can see more on Reddit.
What chef knife do you guys use?
I use a knife gifted to me by chef Humm and Will Guidara from Eleven Madison Park -- it was made by a knife shop in Brooklyn for me. (Grant)
Do strangers ever approach either of you because you're famous? If so, is that annoying?
I do not consider myself famous but within a niche audience of fine dining fans I'm recognizable and yes, I'm recognized nearly daily somewhere or other. It's not annoying, it is somewhat an odd feeling. I've been in public dining with truly world famous people and I have no idea how they do it... every eye is on them all the time. That'll never happen with us!
Question for Nick: Alinea is ultra high end and Roister is more casual. Any thoughts on opening an even more casual place? I'm thinking "fast food" but of the highest quality. A mastery of the burger perhaps? Show the Au Cheval guys who's boss.
We've thought about it. We have ideas. But really, it's a totally different biz full of compromises. We love burgers, fries, hot dogs, pizza... (Grant really wants to do a pizza place)... and of course you cannot build just one and make it work financially -- you have to do 8 or 10 or 20 of them. Unlikely to happen.
This winter I'll be in France for two weeks, what is the best meal you've eaten in France? No budget.
Grant: Bocuse... traditional and amazing in Lyon.
Nick: L'amis Jean in Paris -- Basque bistro... love it.