Alinea: best restaurant in the U.S.

Restaurant Magazine has dubbed Chicago’s Alinea best place to eat in the United States. If the wait is too long or your wallet’s on the slender side, head over to Halsted St. and for a modest fee a Greek dude will set fire to a delicious slab of cheese for you. Hey New York and L.A.–now who’s the second city? I shot this portrait for the Village Voice. Here’s another one.

Alinea chef Grant Achatz in New Yorker: so 5 mins. ago!

I opened the new issue of the New Yorker to see a nice big photo of Grant Achatz, the chef at the very highly praised Chicago restaurant Alinea, igniting one of his signature dishes. Dudes, that’s so 5 minutes ago! I photographed the celebrated arsonist torching a pheasant breast on an oak branch for the Village Voice in 2005 (although they didn’t run the flaming pheasant photo–shown below–they ran a shot I took of the dish without Achatz). WHATEVS.

Kidding aside, the Achatz portrait in the New Yorker (not the one below) was taken by Ethan Levitas, whose work is really stellar. Also, in that same issue (May 12th, 2008) there’s also an illuminating article on the powerful and ubiquitous retoucher Pasal Dangin.

Alinea chef Grant Achatz

(Photograph by Jim Newberry)