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If the lofty Beard awards had one for arrogance...

If the lofty Beard awards had one for arrogance...
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  • If the lofty Beard awards had one for arrogance...

    Post #1 - April 14th, 2007, 1:12 pm
    Post #1 - April 14th, 2007, 1:12 pm Post #1 - April 14th, 2007, 1:12 pm
    ...this week's winner: Grant Achatz. Quote from this week's Reader (where he talks about Alinea's expeditor): "You might say I built the perfect expediting robot".
    I love animals...they're delicious!
  • Post #2 - April 14th, 2007, 1:18 pm
    Post #2 - April 14th, 2007, 1:18 pm Post #2 - April 14th, 2007, 1:18 pm
    Gosh, an arrogant chef. That's one for the record books! :lol:
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #3 - April 14th, 2007, 2:50 pm
    Post #3 - April 14th, 2007, 2:50 pm Post #3 - April 14th, 2007, 2:50 pm
    I didn't read that as arrogance at all.

    Have you ever met or spoken to Chef Achatz? He's an incredibly nice guy and a pleasure to talk to. Confident in his abilities? Absolutely. Arrogant...I've met far, far worse.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #4 - April 14th, 2007, 3:01 pm
    Post #4 - April 14th, 2007, 3:01 pm Post #4 - April 14th, 2007, 3:01 pm
    It sounds like a joke to me. If he were on LTH, I strongly suspect he'd have followed it with :)
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #5 - April 15th, 2007, 8:53 am
    Post #5 - April 15th, 2007, 8:53 am Post #5 - April 15th, 2007, 8:53 am
    Well okay, maybe not only arrogant("I built")-I left out inconsiderate(calling someone a robot). I'm not saying he's arrogant or inconsiderate on a minute by minute basis-just that the statement certainly is. I would not be happy if I was on the receiving end of that little comment.

    Besides- you can meet anyone and most certainly not see their whole picture, plus a smiley face doesn't always wash things clean-(immhubo)*

    *In my most humble, uber-biased opinion.
    I love animals...they're delicious!
  • Post #6 - April 15th, 2007, 11:23 am
    Post #6 - April 15th, 2007, 11:23 am Post #6 - April 15th, 2007, 11:23 am
    Again, it's only arrogance if you don't think he's joking. You'll have to ask him or the interviewer about that.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #7 - April 16th, 2007, 4:28 pm
    Post #7 - April 16th, 2007, 4:28 pm Post #7 - April 16th, 2007, 4:28 pm
    From multiple interviews, I can vouch for the fact that Achatz is one of the most humble chefs I've ever met. Coupled with the fact that he's currently head of the "best restaurant in America" according to Gourmet, he may be the most humble chef ever.

    My guess is he meant something along the lines that she does her job so efficiently and effectively, she's like a robot....
    MJN "AKA" Michael Nagrant
    http://www.michaelnagrant.com
  • Post #8 - April 16th, 2007, 4:35 pm
    Post #8 - April 16th, 2007, 4:35 pm Post #8 - April 16th, 2007, 4:35 pm
    MJN wrote:From multiple interviews, I can vouch for the fact that Achatz is one of the most humble chefs I've ever met. Coupled with the fact that he's currently head of the "best restaurant in America" according to Gourmet, he may be the most humble chef ever.

    My guess is he meant something along the lines that she does her job so efficiently and effectively, she's like a robot....


    Is his onetime quip about Potbelly sandwiches open to multiple interpretations too?

    E.M.
  • Post #9 - April 16th, 2007, 4:53 pm
    Post #9 - April 16th, 2007, 4:53 pm Post #9 - April 16th, 2007, 4:53 pm
    Erik M. wrote:Is his onetime quip about Potbelly sandwiches open to multiple interpretations too?


    "Local haunt Potbelly Sandwich Works. 'They have the best sandwiches in the world. I like the Wreck, a sub with everything on it.' "

    Is that meant to be a quip? It sounds like a sincere opinion to me. If we're meant to read it as snarky, the snark is lost on me. (But I could be missing something, I admit.)
  • Post #10 - April 16th, 2007, 4:57 pm
    Post #10 - April 16th, 2007, 4:57 pm Post #10 - April 16th, 2007, 4:57 pm
    MJN wrote:From multiple interviews, I can vouch for the fact that Achatz is one of the most humble chefs I've ever met. Coupled with the fact that he's currently head of the "best restaurant in America" according to Gourmet, he may be the most humble chef ever.

    My guess is he meant something along the lines that she does her job so efficiently and effectively, she's like a robot....


    Certainly, at the very least, an infelicitous choice of words.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #11 - April 16th, 2007, 4:58 pm
    Post #11 - April 16th, 2007, 4:58 pm Post #11 - April 16th, 2007, 4:58 pm
    riddlemay wrote:
    Erik M. wrote:Is his onetime quip about Potbelly sandwiches open to multiple interpretations too?


    "Local haunt Potbelly Sandwich Works. 'They have the best sandwiches in the world. I like the Wreck, a sub with everything on it.' "

    Is that meant to be a quip? It sounds like a sincere opinion to me. If we're meant to read it as snarky, the snark is lost on me. (But I could be missing something, I admit.)


    I misspoke. I should have instead said, "comment," or some such.

    I believe that his remark was truly earnest.

    E.M.
  • Post #12 - April 16th, 2007, 5:00 pm
    Post #12 - April 16th, 2007, 5:00 pm Post #12 - April 16th, 2007, 5:00 pm
    I take that one as being an example of the chef's code of interview responses, which says, You Will Always Be Asked What You Like To Eat Besides Your Own Cooking, And You Will Always Answer Something That Is Safely In No Way, Shape Or Form Competition For Your Own Place. Usually the answer is sushi, that's perfectly safe, but a chain sandwich is reasonable (and in Achatz' case adds regular-guy points to counteract the impression of elitism).
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
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    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #13 - April 17th, 2007, 2:05 pm
    Post #13 - April 17th, 2007, 2:05 pm Post #13 - April 17th, 2007, 2:05 pm
    Regarding Potbelly, it is sincere. Last time I interviewed Achatz, he'd switched from a Wreck to a Ham and Swiss. Also, he once signed for a big Potbelly order for staff meal during one of our interviews. When he got the Gourmet nod, Potbelly sent his staff a free meal as a congratulations.

    The interesting thing about Alinea staff meal is that they sit down as a group every single day...EVERYONE, no matter how in the weeds they are has to sit down at the big stainless tables in the kitchen and eat together. This is actually uncharacteristic...not every high end restaurant does this, despite it being a commonly reported idea.

    Also, at Alinea, other than the occasional Potbelly, they plan the meals and order for them ahead of time. They don't use cast off scraps as is tradition...Achatz says they make a lot of ethnic dishes, Thai, and especially braised meats for Tacos etc...

    here's a picture, my photog Tuan Bui took of them getting bbq beef at a staff meal...Alinea Staff Meal
    MJN "AKA" Michael Nagrant
    http://www.michaelnagrant.com
  • Post #14 - April 17th, 2007, 3:50 pm
    Post #14 - April 17th, 2007, 3:50 pm Post #14 - April 17th, 2007, 3:50 pm
    MJN wrote:Also, at Alinea, other than the occasional Potbelly, they plan the meals and order for them ahead of time. They don't use cast off scraps as is tradition...Achatz says they make a lot of ethnic dishes, Thai, and especially braised meats for Tacos etc...

    I do believe I'd rather have Alinea's "cast off scraps" prepared by Chef Achatz then Potbelly subs.

    MJN wrote:here's a picture, my photog Tuan Bui took of them getting bbq beef

    From?

    Nice piece in today's Sun Times on Chef Cheswick, though I was a little disappointed he did not name a regular guy type place as his post shift meal. ;)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #15 - April 17th, 2007, 5:39 pm
    Post #15 - April 17th, 2007, 5:39 pm Post #15 - April 17th, 2007, 5:39 pm
    Oh, I'm sure the Potbelly answer is sincere, but there are a lot of possible answers to that question for anybody, and anyone who's interviewed a lot soon learns which ones play best... I was struck years ago by the way sushi, and (oddly enough) Paradise Sauna, always seemed to come up as the standard chef's answer to the question "what do you eat/where do you go after work?"
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #16 - May 23rd, 2007, 5:03 am
    Post #16 - May 23rd, 2007, 5:03 am Post #16 - May 23rd, 2007, 5:03 am
    MJN wrote:Regarding Potbelly, it is sincere. Last time I interviewed Achatz, he'd switched from a Wreck to a Ham and Swiss.

    MJN,

    It'd been a decade or so since my last Potbelly so, feeling a bit peckish after an unsuccessful stop at the Harlem Ave Bed Bath and Beyond for a 12-inch Lodge cast iron skillet,* I plopped down a few buckaroos for a turkey and Swiss Potbelly w/everything.

    Well within the edible range with a toasted roll that did not fall prey to the sour yeast smell/flavor of subway's bread. Individual components were just ok, but the overall effect was not displeasing. In my opinion what separates Potbelly from the rest of the sub fleet is the run thought the conveyor broiler/toaster.

    Far as my next Potbelly sub I will go minimalist, Everything was simply too much stuff and sogged down the sandwich.

    Potbelly Turkey and Swiss with Everything
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    *They only had Emeril brand cast iron. Emeril has a line of cast iron?
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #17 - May 23rd, 2007, 6:52 am
    Post #17 - May 23rd, 2007, 6:52 am Post #17 - May 23rd, 2007, 6:52 am
    Hi,

    A few weeks ago, I saw a pair of Lodge Cast Iron pans selling at Costco-Glenview for around $25 (maybe less). I believe one was 10 or 12 inches. I took a picture but cannot locate it this moment.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #18 - May 23rd, 2007, 7:20 am
    Post #18 - May 23rd, 2007, 7:20 am Post #18 - May 23rd, 2007, 7:20 am
    G Wiv wrote:It'd been a decade or so since my last Potbelly so, feeling a bit peckish after an unsuccessful stop at the Harlem Ave Bed Bath and Beyond for a 12-inch Lodge cast iron skillet,* I plopped down a few buckaroos for a turkey and Swiss Potbelly w/everything.


    Gary,

    Shopping at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and lunch at Potbelly??? I think I should stop by your house today and look in your basement for a giant seed pod.

    Northwestern Cutlery carries Loge Cast Iron and is not too far from Bari.

    Best,
    Michael

    Northwestern Cutlery
    810 W Lake St

    Bari Foods
    1120 W Grand Ave
  • Post #19 - May 23rd, 2007, 7:35 am
    Post #19 - May 23rd, 2007, 7:35 am Post #19 - May 23rd, 2007, 7:35 am
    eatchicago wrote:Shopping at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and lunch at Potbelly??? I think I should stop by your house today and look in your basement for a giant seed pod.

    Michael,

    BB & B coupled with Potbelly, seems fitting. :) Funny thing was I was on my way back from Riviera where I had picked up a couple of house cured Soprassata and jar of Riv's hot giardiniera. I thought about getting a Will Special, but simply wasn't hungry at the time. :shock:

    Riviera Soprassata
    Image

    Thanks for the tip on Northwestern, Cathy as well for the Costco recommendation.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Riviera
    3220 N Harlem
    Chicago IL
    773-637-4252
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #20 - May 23rd, 2007, 11:52 am
    Post #20 - May 23rd, 2007, 11:52 am Post #20 - May 23rd, 2007, 11:52 am
    stewed coot wrote:...this week's winner: Grant Achatz. Quote from this week's Reader (where he talks about Alinea's expeditor): "You might say I built the perfect expediting robot".


    To get back to the original topic of the post for a moment (though any topic that digresses to a Will Special is OK with me :wink:)... If you read the whole article that the quote is taken from, you will actually find that the comment really has little to do with Grant other than his managment style. It is basically a case of tongue-in-cheek priase for his FoH expo. He is proud of his employee to be sureand he cerainly does not hide this fact in any way in every bit of media I have seen him in, but I am pretty sure, based on the tone of the article, that the extent to which it was his doing was intended to be humerous.

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