“My secret vice,” admits thrice Michelin-starred chef Grant Achatz to the Wall Street Journal, “is Little Caesars cheese and pepperoni pizza. I also like Potbelly Sandwich Shop in Chicago: They’ve got good condiments, bread and meat, and you can get a sandwich for $3.85.” The James Beard Award winner and Chicago restaurateur attempts to demystify himself, revealing that inside his refrigerator, “I have sriracha sauce, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Heinz ketchup, French’s yellow mustard. People think that because I’m a chef my refrigerator is filled with high-end stuff, but we’re people. Good God, in my freezer I have crappy vanilla ice cream.”
To be sure, his home kitchen has got every spice and salt imaginable (“sassafras root, dried lavender buds, togarashi [a Japanese spice blend], rosebuds,… Kona sea salt, smoked salt, sel gris, Maldon and Murray River salt”). And his boys get to do prep thanks to sharp-enough plastic knives. The family can also access the kitchen of Alinea, where they all made pad thai—keep in mind his boys are eight and ten.
And considering he managed to fend off stage 4 carcinoma of the mouth, it’s no surprise Achatz’s favorite gift is an antique hourglass. “It’s incredibly beautiful but there’s also a meaning to it because of the way I do things and my history with cancer. When you watch the sand go through the narrow passage and fall into the bigger section in the vessel, it has some meaning. What should we all focus on? Time. But nobody thinks about it.”
Definitely worth reading in its entirety.