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The Irony Gods


This news is a bit old at this point, but I just heard about it. Grant Achatz, the 33 year-old chef of Alinea restaurant in Chicago, has cancer of the tongue:

“I wanted to personally report that I have been very recently diagnosed with an advanced stage of squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth. I have consulted several prominent physicians and will likely begin aggressive treatment within the next few weeks. I remain, and will remain, actively and optimistically engaged in operations at Alinea to the largest extent possible. Alinea will continue to perform at the level people have come to expect from us — I insist on that. I have received amazing support from friends, family, and everyone who has thus far been told of the disease, and I look forward to a full, cancer-free, recovery.”

I twice had the extraordinary pleasure of dining at Alinea. Achatz is simply the most brilliant chef I've ever encountered. I don't throw the word 'genius' around. Achatz is a genius.

The irony here is obvious. Fortunately I'm not religious, so I don't have to strain to rationalize the sort of God that would afflict a great culinary artist with cancer of the tongue. It's like blinding Van Gogh. It's a crime.

Hang in there, Chef.

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“The Irony Gods”

  1. Blogger Tom Strong Says:

    Cruel indeed. Your writings about Alinea had gotten me psyched about going there, at least once I'm out of school and am drawing a decent salary.

    I will hope that irony gives way to humor and relief.

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