Last week, Time writer Joel Stein was in Chicago trailing Grant Achatz to do a story about the Alinea chef for the magazine. Over the weekend, Achatz and Alinea chef de cuisine Dave Beran gave Stein a sneak peek at the proposed six-course opening menu for Next, the forthcoming project from Achatz and his business partner, Nick Kokonas.
The video shows the chefs preparing a chicken dish from Paris circa 1906, which leads us to believe that this will be the first theme for the innovative new West Loop eatery where the concept changes each quarter. You see Achatz meet Stein (who is off camera, but you can hear his voice) and the chef says, "I keep telling everybody what's old is new," in reference to this recipe, and others, coming around again.
As for the recipe, Achatz tells us it came from the legendary French turn-of-the-century chef Georges Auguste Escoffier, who Achatz calls "a genius." During this course, he served Stein poached Blue Foot chicken breast and tenderloin glazed with "sauce albufera #83." The round garnishes on the plate were "concombres farcis #4083," whole cucumber that was hollowed out, filled with chicken forcemeat, wrapped in salt pork and poached. Both recipes came direct from Escoffier and this was Achatz and Beran's first time preparing the meal, which will go through further refinement before the menu is finalized.
· Chicago Michelin Guide Brings out Chef Wattage to Party [~EChi~]
· All Grant Achatz coverage on Eater Chicago [~EChi~]
· All Next coverage on Eater Chicago [~EChi~]