Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Nick Kokonas  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction Other

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1968 in Chicago, Illinois


-- Nick Kokonas on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=nick+kokonas


Illinois Connection

Nick is a life long Chicagoan, who currently lives in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Kokonas met Achatz shortly before retiring from a lucrative ten-year run as an independent derivatives trader; he was a customer—at Trio, the four-star Evanston restaurant and precursor to Alinea—who became a fan and ultimately a steakholder and writing partner to Grant Achatz.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Alinea
ISBN: 1580089283

10 Speed Press. 2008

The debut cookbook from the restaurant Gourmet magazine named the best in the country.

A pioneer in American cuisine, chef Grant Achatz represents the best of the molecular gastronomy movement--brilliant fundamentals and exquisite taste paired with a groundbreaking approach to new techniques and equipment. ALINEA showcases Achatz's cuisine with more than 100 dishes (totaling 600 recipes) and 600 photographs presented in a deluxe volume. Three feature pieces frame the book: Michael Ruhlman considers Alinea's role in the global dining scene, Jeffrey Steingarten offers his distinctive take on dining at the restaurant, and Mark McClusky explores the role of technology in the Alinea kitchen. Buyers of the book will receive access to a website featuring video demonstrations, interviews, and an online forum that allows readers to interact with Achatz and his team.

"Achatz is something new on the national culinary landscape: a chef as ambitious as Thomas Keller who wants to make his mark not with perfection but with constant innovation . . . Get close enough to sit down and allow yourself to be teased, challenged, and coddled by Achatz's version of this kind of cooking, and you can have one of the most enjoyable culinary adventures of your life." --Corby Kummer, senior editor of Atlantic Monthly

"Someone new has entered the arena. His name is Grant Achatz, and he is redefining the American restaurant once again for an entirely new generation . . . Alinea is in perpetual motion having eaten here once, you can't wait to come back, to see what Achatz will come up with next." --GourmetReviews & AwardsJames Beard Foundation Cookbook Award Finalist: Cooking from a professional Point of View Category James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef Award! "Even if your kitchen isn't equipped with a paint-stripping heat gun, thermocirculator, or refractometer, and you're only vaguely aware that chefs use siphons and foams in contemporary cooking, you can enjoy this daring cookbook from Grant Achatz of the Chicago restaurant Alinea.. . . While the recipes can hardly become part of your everday cooking, this book is far too interesting to be left on the coffee table. As you read, a question emerges: Is Alinea's food art? . . . I go a little further, describing Achatz with a word that he would probably never use to describe himself: avant-garde, as it defined art movements at the beginning of the last century--planned, self-concious, and structured attempts to provoke and shake the status quo. Just as with those artists, the results are not necessarily as interesting as the intentions and concepts behind them. In this sense, this volume constitutes a full-blown although not threatening manifesto."—Art of Eating

Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat
ISBN: 1592406017

Gotham. 2011

"One of America's great chefs" (Vogue) shares how his drive to cook immaculate food won him international renown-and fueled his miraculous triumph over tongue cancer.

In 2007, chef Grant Achatz seemingly had it made. He had been named one of the best new chefs in America by Food & Wine in 2002, received the James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year Award in 2003, and in 2005 he and Nick Kokonas opened the conceptually radical restaurant Alinea, which was named Best Restaurant in America by Gourmet magazine. Then, positioned firmly in the world's culinary spotlight, Achatz was diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma-tongue cancer.

The prognosis was grim, and doctors agreed the only course of action was to remove the cancerous tissue, which included his entire tongue. Desperate to preserve his quality of life, Grant undertook an alternative treatment of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation. But the choice came at a cost. Skin peeled from the inside of Grant's mouth and throat, he rapidly lost weight, and most alarmingly, he lost his sense of taste. Tapping into the discipline, passion, and focus of being a chef, Grant rarely missed a day of work. He trained his chefs to mimic his palate and learned how to cook with his other senses. As Kokonas was able to attest: The food was never better. Five months later, Grant was declared cancer-free, and just a few months following, he received the James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef in America Award.

Life, on the Line tells the story of a culinary trailblazer's love affair with cooking, but it is also a book about survival, about nurturing creativity, and about profound friendship. Already much- anticipated by followers of progressive cuisine, Grant and Nick's gripping narrative is filled with stories from the world's most renowned kitchens-The French Laundry, Charlie Trotter's, el Bulli- and sure to expand the audience that made Alinea the number-one selling restaurant cookbook in America last year.

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