Grant Achatz Is Writing a Memoir: Life, On the Line

Grant Achatz, head chef of Alinea in Chicago, is shopping a memoir, and recently sent a copy of the proposal to Pete Wells at the NYT's Diner's Journal and Eater who posted the PDF of the proposal, including excerpts! (PDF direct link)

Co-written by Achatz and his business partner Nick Kokonas, the memoir will tell the dual-tale of Achatz' incredibly swift rise to fame and culinary glory, as well as the (initially misdiagnosed) cancerous tumor in his tongue that almost killed him. We don't need to tell you that this will be an epic book; we're sure the poetry in a talented chef fighting tongue cancer has not been lost on you.

Says the proposal:

But this book is not a book solely about cancer, mortality, or how I have changed my life because I survived stage IVb cancer. It won’t tell you the best way to eat, sleep, exercise, or find doctors to beat cancer – though I do have serious thoughts about the process. Instead, this book is about how that knowledge informed me that I didn’t have to change my life much at all. I spend more time with my kids, I make more time for myself. But on the whole, I am doing what I did before I nearly died: cooking at Alinea, creating new cuisine, and pushing the boundaries of fine dining. Life On The Line is the story of the journey to that moment on stage in New York. From a diner in Michigan, through the Culinary institute of America, to some of the finest kitchens in America, this is my story of a passionate desire to be the best. It is a love affair with cooking, creativity, and the rigors and routines of a professional kitchen.

It is at times a business book, at times an inside portrait of the culinary world, and at times a cancer survival story.

Life On The Line is my story of innovation as a guiding philosophy and as ultimately my savior.

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