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Chef Achatz - You obviously love food, but i'm curious as to whether becoming a chef has changed your perception of it at all (especially with regards to fine dining)? With all of the time and thought put in to your dishes, are you ever able to then appreciate and enjoy them in the same way the customers at Trio do, or does it become more of an intellectual appreciation as opposed to one of the senses? In Ruhlman's Soul of a Chef, Thomas Keller admits to having never actually tasted his signature "Oysters and Pearls" dish, yet he knows intellectually that the dish works, and has kept it on the menu at TFL for several years. And on a basic level it's easily to assume that, just like any other job, when you cook for a living you may not want to do it at home. Do you find that this is true with chefs? And finally --what this entire post has been leading up to-- :smile: what are some of your favorite things to eat when you are at home, or otherwise just not at Trio?

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I feel the more educated about food you are the more you will potentially enjoy it. Certainly I taste all the food at Trio, both during it's creation and on a nightly basis, and yes I enjoy the dishes, but not the way you do. Here is an example. The best meal I have ever eaten was my first meal at the Laundry. It was before I started working there, 2 days before in fact. I dinned with my father, I was blown away. Thomas rolled it out for us a bit, but I am sure my feelings would have been the same regardless. The "oysters and pearls" is probably the best dish I have ever tasted to this day. From that meal October 14 1996 until my last day June 30 2001 I dinned there 9 times! Each time it became less memorable. Not because the food was less quality, in fact if anything it was probably better. But knowing the repetoire like I did after such a length in the kitchen took away from the experience that diners feel. In fact I always recommend to chef friends of mine to plan their potential "best meal of their lives" carefully. Had I not eaten at el Bulli before I staged there would the experience been as magical? Probably not.

I love to cook at home. In the past I would get in way over my head, trying dishes that have little business in a home kitchen, or coursing out 10 dishes for my family. Now with time more of an issue I tend to cook simply with a Trio Twist snuck in there. An unlikely ingredient, or technique that my girlfriend usually picks out, and pushes to the side of the plate. When I lived in Napa the team at The Laundry would get togehter often and each do a course. Cooks love to eat good food.

I love to go out to eat, but when I am at home ethnic foods get the nod. Thai is a staple, grilling outside (a ribeye steak or fish), often we get 4 different cheeses and some bread and fruit...some wine that always works well. Angela cooks a mean pot pie.


Grant Achatz



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