In this cool video from the Chicago Tribune acclaimed chef Grant Achatz opens up about one of his passions outside of the kitchen: muscle cars.
The video is part of an ongoing series called My First Car in which prominent Chicagoans talk about their first set of wheels. For Achatz, that first ride was a hot red 1970 Pontiac GTO.
The chef tells the story of how he was only 14 when his father Grant Achatz Sr. asked him what car he wanted to drive when he got his license. They found the Pontiac GTO and restored it together just in time for this 16th birthday.
After Achatz moved away from home the car was eventually sold to his cousin. But in 2011, Achatz received a sweet surprise when his business partner Nick Kokonas tracked down the same Pontiac GTO and had it restored. Kokonas then presented it to Achatz as a congratulatory gift for writing his memoir Life, on the Line.
Achatz says: "I'm fascinated by the way things come together and I respect the ingenuity that it took to build something, in the same way that I build menus or individual plates of composed food or restaurants. You come to respect the amount of effort and skill and intellect it would take to build this car. "
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