At Home in the Kitchen with Molecular Gastronomist Grant Achatz

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Molecular gastronomist/chef Grant Achatz, founder of the “mad scientist lab of a restaurant Alinea” in Chicago and the recipient of the 2008 James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef award, has an old gramophone in his home kitchen. It was picked up on an antiquing trip, as Achatz tells The Wall Street Journal in this recent kitchen profile. He also has “every spice you could ever imagine” and keeps “crappy vanilla ice cream” in his freezer. Who knew?

It’s always interesting to glimpse inside someone else’s kitchen, to see what they use, what they love, what their unique cooking needs and preferences are. Grant Achatz’s kitchen is no exception. As an avant-garde chef, you’d think he’d have a lot of crazy stuff, but it’s really quite straightforward and thoughtful. (Well, except for his spice collection, which is pretty unusual and awesome.) Here are a few highlights from the article:

To me, every kitchen appliance is useful and nothing’s overrated. When I look at my little espresso machine, I don’t see coffee. I see a steaming valve as an opportunity to make amazing crème brûlée.
The kitchen gadgets I use every day at home are a mortar and pestle, a Benriner Japanese mandoline and—this will sound sacrilegious—a Fiskars knife sharpener. Here I am, a chef who knows how to sharpen a knife with a whetstone, but rock your knife back and forth on the Fiskars and you’re good to go. For my sons, we have a collection of Zyliss plastic knives and they’re the greatest thing ever: sharp enough that the boys are contributing to the prep, but there’s no way they’re going to cut themselves.
The meal I like to eat best at home with my family is pasta with capers, toasted garlic, basil, olive oil and Parmesan. I also like scrambled eggs and quite heavily toasted whole-wheat bread, dry. Those are my two go-tos. I’ll drink fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and sparkling water, mixed 50/50.

Read the full article to learn more about Grant’s secret vice, his two greatest influences, his home entertaining philosophy, and more.

Read More: In My Kitchen: Grant Achatz | The Wall Street Journal

(Images: Daniel Shea for The Wall Street Journal, used with permission)