Fascinating read from Chicagoist. Here's a taste:
Chicagoist: Could you start off by describing in layman’s terms what you call “hypermodern, emotional” cooking, or what’s also known as “molecular gastronomy” or “science food”?
Grant Achatz: We really look at the whole thing as a block of time. We can cook individual meals or dishes. But for us, we’re trying to entertain, captivate, insatiate, all of those things combined into one experience for x amount of time. We have you in the chair for between two to six hours. What are we doing with that time? Well, we’re going to try to entertain you. We’re going to try to feed you, obviously. If food and service is the medium, how do we refine or craft an experience that is not only unique, but also … you mentioned “emotionally driven.” When people ask, “what is your goal with this?” I say, “I want people to feel.” Sometimes that feeling is going to be elation. Sometimes it’ll be intimidation. Sometimes it’s going to be happiness. When people think of cooking, that seems like a stretch to them. They think that, as a chef, my job is to feed you good-tasting food. That’s only part of that for us. We recognize that, and we focus on that, and all the other elements, as well.