Alineaphile

My adventures recreating Alinea Restaurant’s food at home

SPONGE CAKE, Tonka Bean, Dried Cherry, Vanilla Fragrance

SPONGE CAKE, Tonka Bean, Vanilla Fragrance

Alinea Restaurant’s humorous take on traditional Victoria sponge cake — on a stick, coated with a layer of hard candy, sprinkled with dried cherry and grated tonka bean, and served with a delicious tonka bean cream and foam. It’s a cherry-vanilla cake pop — with a crunchy candy shell, and a side of danger! Read More

SALSIFY, Smoked Salmon, Dill, Caper (Part 3)

Alinea cookbook recipe for Salsify, Smoked Salmon, Dill, Caper - Alineaphile

071 | AUTUMN SALSIFY, Smoked Salmon, Dill, Caper (Part 3) Alinea Restaurant cookbook recipe, pages 264-269. A fancy recipe for bagels and lox, Alinea style. Continued from SALSIFY, Smoked Salmon, Dill, Caper (Part 2) Day Three Smoked Salmon Mousse This …  Read More

SALSIFY, Smoked Salmon, Dill, Caper (Part 2)

Alinea cookbook recipe for Salsify, Smoked Salmon, Dill, Caper - Alineaphile

071 | AUTUMN SALSIFY, Smoked Salmon, Dill, Caper (Part 2) Alinea Restaurant cookbook recipe, pages 264-269. A fancy recipe for bagels and lox, Alinea style. Continued from SALSIFY, Smoked Salmon, Dill, Caper (Part 1) Day Two Salsify What is Salsify? …  Read More

SALSIFY, Smoked Salmon, Dill, Caper (Part 1)

Alinea recipe for Salsify, Smoked Salmon, Dill, Caper

071 | AUTUMN SALSIFY, Smoked Salmon, Dill, Caper (Part 1) Alinea Restaurant cookbook recipe, pages 264-269 Continued in SALSIFY, Smoked Salmon, Dill, Caper (Part 2) Bagels and lox — that’s what this is! Alinea Restaurant’s version of lox keeps the …  Read More

Alineaphile – Seen in the Globe and Mail

ENGLISH PEAS, Tofu, Ham, Pillow of Lavender Air

Alineaphile was featured today in Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail. Read it! Think you can cook? Try making cheese curd ‘balloons’ for dinner By Wency Leung The Globe and Mail Published Tuesday, 10 Jul 2012 Until recently, Joey …  Read More

KUROGE WAGYU, Cucumber, Honeydew, Lime Sugar

KUROGE WAGYU, Cucumber, Honeydew, Lime Sugar

Kuroge Wagyu, Cucumber, Honeydew, Lime Sugar – Alinea cookbook recipe, pages 78-79. I must admit that this was the first Wagyu steak I had ever prepared. And according to my family, it turned out to be the best steak they’d …  Read More

FOIEMAGEDDON

On July 1, 2012, vitriolic, part-time vegetarian John Burton’s Senate Bill 1520 went into effect, outlawing the selling or buying of foie gras in the State of California. Prior to Foiemageddon, local eateries brave enough to serve it were inundated …  Read More

Dinner at Alinea, May 5, 2012

Trying out the helium balloon dessert

In celebration of reaching just beyond halfway through the Alinea cookbook, I finally dined at Alinea Restaurant! I was joined by several friends who also came to Chicago for the National Restaurant Association tradeshow. I had made a reservation back …  Read More

Garnish Key for Alinea Restaurant’s Lamb 86 Recipe

Lamb, with 60 Garnishes

Tweezermania. When we went to Alinea Restaurant for dinner, one of the mind-bending showstoppers was their lamb course. Perfectly prepared sous vide lamb three ways with a rich jus. But that wasn’t all — accompanying the lamb was a glass …  Read More

Our Dinner at Alinea

I am happy to say that I am finally dining at Alinea Restaurant. Woohoo! We will be in Chicago for the National Restaurant Association show, and secured reservations for Alinea. So excited! It’s an anniversary celebration, of sorts: I’m now …  Read More

CHOCOLATE, Warmed to 94 Degrees

Chocolate, warmed to 94 degrees

Chocolate, Warmed to 94 Degrees – Alinea Restaurant cookbook recipe, pages 294-295. “This is the best Alinea recipe so far!” — The first words uttered by my daughter, after she came up for air… I’ll have to agree. It’s the …  Read More

Cooking Sous Vide

Cooking en sous vide

What is sous vide anyway? Sous vide (SOO veed) is French for “under vacuum”, or the simple technique of cooking food sealed in a bag in a hot water bath. And recently, it’s being used more and more. You can …  Read More

MAYTAG BLUE, Grape, Walnut, Port

Alinea Restaurant recipe for Maytag Blue, Grape, Walnut, Port

Maytag Blue, Grape, Walnut, Port – Alinea Restaurant cookbook recipe, pages 166-167. It’s Alinea’s whimsical take on the all-American party favorite: an inside-out cheese ball with nuts, wine and celery! Day One Walnut Milk I toasted some walnuts in the …  Read More

LAMB, In Cubism (Part 3)

Final plating of Lamb, In Cubism

LAMB, In Cubism – Alinea Restaurant cookbook recipe, pages 188-191. Continued from LAMB, In Cubism (Part 2) A cubist feast of Mediterranean flavors, lamb, mint, eggplant, yogurt, lemon and exotic spices. Continued from the Alinea Restaurant recipe for LAMB, In …  Read More

LAMB, In Cubism (Part 2)

Final plating of Lamb, In Cubism

LAMB, In Cubism – Alinea Restaurant cookbook recipe, pages 188-191. Continued from LAMB, In Cubism (Part 1) A cubist feast of Mediterranean flavors, lamb, mint, eggplant, yogurt, lemon and exotic spices. Continued from the Alinea Restaurant recipe for LAMB, In …  Read More

Duck Press

Duck Press

Happy Thanksgiving! I received a package in the mail yesterday. It was an antique cast-iron sausage press. I will use this to make the Caneton Rouennais a la Presse recipe from Next Restaurant’s menu, Paris 1906 – Escoffier at the …  Read More

Alineaphile Third Anniversary

Mango, Soy, Bonito, Sesame

Happy Third Anniversary! Hard to believe I have now been working on this project for three years! I went into it with no specific timetable, but now I’m ramping up for a more consistent blogging schedule. And I started Nextaphile, …  Read More

JUNSAI, Bonito, Soy, Mirin

Junsai, bonito, soy, mirin

Junsai, Bonito, Soy, Mirin – Alinea cookbook recipe, pages 270-271. It’s a texture thang. This Alinea cookbook recipe is a cold shot of dashi with a floater of slimy junsai — water lily buds, that is. These rare ‘veggies’ come …  Read More

LAMB, In Cubism (Part 1)

Alinea Restaurant recipe for Lamb, In Cubism

LAMB, In Cubism – Alinea Cookbook recipe, pages 188-191. A cubist feast of Mediterranean flavors, lamb, mint, eggplant, yogurt, lemon and exotic spices. In 2-D. Pablo would be impressed. That’s what you get in this complex, but delicious recipe from …  Read More

BEEF, Elements of Root Beer

Beef, Elements of Root Beer

Beef, Elements of Root Beer – Alinea Restaurant recipe, pages 356-357. After cooking an intense, three-day Alinea recipe, and bounding back with a simple dessert, I decided on this for my next recipe challenge. BUT — I said to myself …  Read More

DRY CARAMEL, Salt

Dry Caramel, Salt

Dry Caramel, Salt – Alinea recipe, pages 296-297. This is a really cool and easy-to-make dish from the Alinea Restaurant cook book. I did this recipe with my daughter. We had a lotta fun! When you try the powderized caramel, …  Read More

PERSIMMON, Aroma Strip, Carrot, Red Curry (Part 3)

Alinea Restaurant recipe for Persimmon, Aroma Strip, Carrot, Red Curry

Persimmon, Aroma Strip, Carrot, Red Curry – Alinea recipe, pages 284-289. This three-day recipe is worth the trouble if you want to take it on. Cake and ice cream! Continued from the Alinea Restaurant recipe for PERSIMMON, Aroma Strip, Carrot, …  Read More

PERSIMMON, Aroma Strip, Carrot, Red Curry (Part 2)

Alinea Restaurant recipe for Persimmon, Aroma Strip, Carrot, Red Curry

Persimmon, Aroma Strip, Carrot, Red Curry – Alinea recipe, pages 284-289. This three-day recipe is worth the trouble if you want to take it on. Cake and ice cream! Continued from the Alinea Restaurant recipe for PERSIMMON, Aroma Strip, Carrot, …  Read More

PERSIMMON, Aroma Strip, Carrot, Red Curry (Part 1)

Alinea recipe: Persimmon, Aroma Strip, Carrot, Red Curry

Persimmon, Aroma Strip, Carrot, Red Curry – Alinea Restaurant recipe, pages 284-289. This three-day recipe from the Alinea Restaurant cook book is worth the trouble if you want to take it on. Cake and ice cream! The flavor combinations are …  Read More

Alinea Named 6th Best Restaurant in the World!

The 2011 S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants List has been announced. And guess what? Alinea Restaurant (1723 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, Illinois, 312-867-0110) is now 6th on the list. Up from 7th on list in 2010, and wins the …  Read More

CHESTNUT, Too Many Garnishes to List

Alinea recipe: Chestnut, Too Many Garnishes To List

Alinea Recipe, pages 234-237. I love the title of this recipe, especially “… too many garnishes to list.” It’s an earthy, foresty, roots-based recipe, using tree nuts like chestnuts, nutmeg, root vegetables such as parsnips, celery root, onions, truffles and …  Read More

RE: Thank you for purchasing tickets to Next

I’m excited to time travel. Next Restaurant here we come! The new eatery from Grant Achatz and Nick Kononas is now open for business and selling tickets. Their new business model for the place is to sell tickets like at …  Read More

Do you know where your beef comes from?

What with all the Sinclairian revelations about modern agri-monopolies, beef of ill health jacked-up on antibiotics and hormones, and chemically bathed hamburger, I’m kinda getting scared of my food. That’s not good. I don’t care if it’s science or standard …  Read More

The Alineaphile Blog Second Anniversary

Mango, Soy, Bonito, Sesame

Happy Second Anniversary! “Yes, but what have you done lately?”

SOUR CREAM, Sorrel, Smoked Salmon, Pink Pepper

Alinea Recipe, pages 58-59. Ever have an appetizer with sour cream and smoked salmon at a party? How about the ubiquitous sour cream and spinach dip, or the ever-popular sour cream and onion soup dip? This easy recipe from Alinea …  Read More

SQUAB, Watermelon, Licorice, Foie Gras (Part 2)

Alinea Recipe, pages 158-161. Continued from SQUAB, Watermelon, Licorice, Foie Gras (Part 1) Day Two Cured Squab Legs (Continued…) I removed the marinating squab legs from the fridge. The salt had drawn out much of their moisture. Rinsed off the …  Read More

SQUAB, Watermelon, Licorice, Foie Gras (Part 1)

squab and foie gras

Alinea Recipe, pages 158-161. “Absolutely delicious!” “Best dish yet…” These were the comments I received from dinner guests about this Alinea Restaurant recipe. And you know what? They were right. It’s a memorably balanced combination of flavors, sweetness and umami. …  Read More

FOIE GRAS, Spicy Cinnamon Puff, Apple Candy

Alinea recipe, pages 256-257. It looks like one of those meringue puffs you find in a plastic tub at the grocery store — and that’s what you’d naturally expect it to taste like. But this is Alinea. It surprises you …  Read More

HUCKLEBERRY Soda, Five Flavors Gelled

Alinea Recipe, pages 200-203. Ahhhh, the tart sweetness of huckleberries! I remember the taste distinctly from my childhood in Oregon. And that of just-picked wild blackberries. This dessert recipe from Alinea Restaurant brings together a unique combination of flavors: berries …  Read More

TOMATO, Balloon of Mozzarella, Many Complementary Flavors (Part 2)

Continued from TOMATO, Balloon of Mozzarella, Many Complementary Flavors (Part 1) Day Three Preserved Meyer Lemons I preserved some Meyer lemons for my first post on this blog, and am still using them. So I simply retrieved one for this …  Read More

TOMATO, Balloon of Mozzarella, Many Complementary Flavors (Part 1)

Recipe, pages 140-143. (originally attempted in November 2009, then in July 2010…) Although this hopped-up caprese salad looks so snail-cute and easy, TOMATO, Mozzarella, Many Complementary Flavors is in reality a mean, vicious ego killer. Somewhat akin to the Rabbit …  Read More

Alinea Peacock Skewer Set by Crucial Detail

Serveware for SQUAB, Watermelon, Licorice, Foie Gras pages 158-161, and PEANUT, Five Other Flavors pages 384-385. About a year ago, I received a shipment from J.B. Prince: an Alinea Restaurant “Peacock” skewer set (US$65.50) and some “Craters” plates (US$52.50 each). …  Read More

CARAMEL POPCORN, Liquified

Alinea Recipe, pages 372-373. This drink, served warm in a shot glass, is the sweet, buttery essence of a caramel popcorn ball. It’s that sticky treat your Aunt always used to make in the summer. Deconstructed. Presented in another form. …  Read More

SALAD, Red Wine Vinaigrette

Alinea Recipe, pages 200-201. Salad is sometimes thought of as a digestive aid, often times served after a large meal. This recipe from Alinea Restaurant takes the common side salad and transforms it into the totally unexpected texture of a …  Read More

SURF CLAM, Nasturtium Leaf and Flower, Shallot Marmalade

Alinea Recipe, pages 56-57. A bite of seafood and a fresh soup of greens to wash it down, this dish is full of surprises. In your first bite, you taste and feel the texture of fried clam, the sweetness and …  Read More

CHICKEN SKIN, Black Truffle, Thyme, Corn

Alinea Recipe, pages 148-149. A bite-sized chicken and mushroom “fritter” served on a bed of black truffle purée — this small appetizer, or amuse bouche, is kinda like a Chicken McNugget on crack. (The crack being truffles, of course. And …  Read More

BEEF, Elements of A1 (Part 2)

Alinea Recipe, pages 194-199. Continued from BEEF, Elements of A1 (Part 1) Beef. It’s what’s for dinner (and lunch)! In celebration of this beef dish from Alinea, I thought I’d add a totally unrelated aside here about our recent pilgrimage …  Read More

Alinea Is Now the Seventh Best Restaurant in the World, First In U.S.

Again, congratulations to all at Alinea Restaurant! This just in: Alinea (1723 N. Halsted St., 312-867-0110) is the 7th best restaurant in the world, according to the 2010 S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Alinea, which made its debut …  Read More

Alinea Named #1 Restaurant of All Time in Chicago

Top 40 Chicago Restaurants Ever In their 40th anniversary issue, Chicago Magazine names the 40 best Chicago restaurants of all time. And guess who’s number one? Alinea Restaurant. All your dedication and hard work have paid off again. Congrats Grant …  Read More

BEEF, Elements of A1 (Part 1)

Alinea Recipe, pages 194-199. Steak and potatoes with a little A1 on the side, it’s an iconic American meal. This four-day recipe is Grant Achatz’s playfully deconstructed take on steak and potatoes. And yes, it took me four days to …  Read More

Grant Achatz Has a Facebook Page

Good News! Alinea Executive Chef Grant Achatz has a new Facebook page, and he now regularly posts news, images and videos from the restaurant! View here.

PUSHED FOIE GRAS, Sauternes, Pear, Chervil

Alinea Recipe, pages 332-335. There’s nothing like the combination of pear with foie gras — it’s great with a little panna cotta and a glass of dessert wine after dinner. This recipe from Alinea Restaurant in Chicago combines them all …  Read More

OCTOPUS, Eggplant, Beans, Soy

Alinea Recipe, pages 146-147. This is a very tasty, light salad entrée, perfect for summer entertaining. You can prepare everything ahead of time and show off your grilling prowess at the last minute. I made this for guests as part …  Read More

GOOSE, Blood Orange, Sage, Roasting Goose Aromas (Part 2)

Alinea Recipe, pages 360-365. Continued from GOOSE, Blood Orange, Sage, Roasting Goose Aromas (Part 1) Day Two Goose Leg Confit (Continued) After the goose legs had cured overnight in the fridge, I removed them and rinsed them off, and patted …  Read More

GOOSE, Blood Orange, Sage, Roasting Goose Aromas (Part 1)

Alinea Recipe, pages 360-365. “There never was such a goose. Its tenderness and flavour, size and cheapness, were the themes of universal admiration…” — Charles Dickens, in A Christmas Carol This is one of my top favorite recipes from the …  Read More

Veal Stock

Alinea Component Recipe, used in BISON, Beets, Blueberries, Burning Cinnamon (pg 114); SQUAB, Watermelon, Licorice, Foie Gras (pg 159); BEEF, Elements of A1 (pg 194); VENISON, Encased in a Savory Granola (pg 279); BEEF, Elements of Root Beer (pg 356); …  Read More

LIQUID CHOCOLATE, Chicory, Dandelion, Banana

Recipe, pages 126-127. Happy New Year! I’m back. After the holidays and some time off, it’s time to start in again. It’s also, I think, time for dessert. What better way to usher in a new year, than a rich, …  Read More

One Year. 32 Dishes. 75 to Go.

Happy Anniversary to Me. Well, it’s been one year since I officially launched the Alineaphile blog. And although I’m not even yet half-way through Grant Achatz’s Alinea Restaurant cookbook, I fell pretty good about this project. Along the way, I’ve …  Read More

ICEFISH, Horseradish, Asparagus, Shellfish (Part Two)

Recipe, pages 72-75. Continued from ICEFISH, Horseradish, Asparagus, Shellfish (Part One) Day Two Shellfish Being on the West Coast, the local seafoods available to me are somewhat different than in Chicago. So I opted for using a few different shellfish …  Read More

ICEFISH, Horseradish, Asparagus, Shellfish (Part One)

Recipe, pages 72-75. This is a great party dish. Just don’t tell the kids they’re eating clams, mussels and snails. I made this for a neighborhood barbecue — two large plates loaded with seafood — and everyone loved it. And …  Read More

Mozzarella Curd

Ingredient in TOMATO, Mozzarella, Many Complementary Flavors, pages 140-143. In the Alinea Restaurant cookbook, Mozzarella curd is listed as an ingredient in the component recipe for Mozzarella Balloons in TOMATO, Mozzarella, Many Complementary Flavors. In places like Chicago and New …  Read More

LAMB, Akudjura, Olive, Eucalyptus Veil

Recipe, pages 80-81. Aaah, the flavors of the Great Outback! And I’m not even going to mention the Outback Steakhouse either, which has virtually nothing to do with Australia, is not owned by Australians, whose meat comes from American ranches, …  Read More

Alinea:Oenophilia Website and Wine Blog

Alinea launches a website devoted to their wine selections. Alinea:Oenophilia http://alineawine.com/ Oenophilia: “A disciplined devotion to wine, accompanying strict traditions of consumption and appreciation.” They’re at it again. This time, it’s a whole website devoted to the wines served at …  Read More

Alinea Video

Here’s a very cool new video about Alinea Restaurant by Lara and Martin Kastner, produced for the Tokyo Taste World Summit on Gastronomy, held February 9-12, 2009 in Japan. It has shots of all sorts of techniques, including making things …  Read More

My New Kitchen Help

After the loss of Willy, our extremely curious kitchen helper, the kids thought they didn’t want another pet. Until a friend of my daughter told her about their cat’s kittens. So…. Meet Napolean and Lulu! They’re a big help in …  Read More

DRY SHOT, Red Pepper, Garlic, Oregano

DRY SHOT, Red Pepper, Garlic, Oregano

Recipe for DRY SHOT, Red Pepper, Garlic, Oregano, Alinea Cook Book pages 157-158. This is like a pizza-in-an-envelope! It’s got almost all your basic pizza ingredients (minus the cheese). So I decided to ‘accessorize’ by adding sun-dried tomato powder and …  Read More

Vellum Envelopes

Serveware for DRY SHOT, Red Pepper, Garlic, Oregano, pages 157-158. Vellum Envelopes I use vellum (Clearprint Design Vellum #1000HP, from

Alinea Crater Plate by Crucial Detail

Serveware for ICEFISH, Horseradish, Asparagus, Shellfish pages 72-75. Woohoo! I received another shipment from J.B. Prince: Alinea “Craters” plates (US$52.50 each) for ICEFISH, Horseradish, Asparagus, Shellfish. Each Alinea Craters plate (16 inches x 5.25 inches) from Crucial Detail came packed …  Read More

KING CRAB, Vinegar, Aromatics, Seaweed (Alternate Serving)

Recipe, pages 262-263. I had another craving for sushi. So. here’s an alternate serving I did for KING CRAB, Vinegar, Aromatics, Seaweed. I incorporated sushi rice and saffron threads into the base of the vinegar gel cube, so that the …  Read More

KING CRAB, Vinegar, Aromatics, Seaweed

Recipe, pages 262-263. I love sushi, and this dish is just a ramped-up version of a crab roll. Kinda. It has the basic ingredients: crab, sushi rice, seaweed, seasoning. But pulled apart and re-assembled in a creative new way. Vinegar …  Read More

PROSCIUTTO, Passion Fruit, Zuta Levana

Recipe, pages 144-145. Have you ever wondered how to “make” your own melon? In this Alinea Restaurant recipe we make kind of a melon, kind of a sponge. It’s a little bit of both. It has the classic combination of …  Read More

CROQUETTE, Smoked Steelhead Roe, Endive, Radish

Recipe, pages 138-139. What’s a croquette? It’s a small fried food roll, from the French croquer, “to crunch.” In the Southern states, they have salmon croquettes: minced salmon with onion, breaded and deep fried. In the East, they have crab …  Read More

AYU, Kombu, Fried Spine, Sesame (Part 2)

Recipe, pages 96-99. Continued from AYU, Kombu, Fried Spine, Sesame (Part 1) Day 2 (Saturday) Sesame Pudding (Continued) The next morning, the sesame milk had steeped to a wonderfully aromatic goodness. I strained it into a medium saucepan. And brought …  Read More

Linen Pillows

Serveware for ENGLISH PEAS, Tofu, Ham, Pillow of Lavender Air pages 68-71, BEAN, Many Garnishes, Pillow of Nutmeg Air, pages 340-345. Thanks Jo! I asked my friend Jo, an incredibly talented designer and seamstress, if she could make linen pillow …  Read More

AYU, Kombu, Fried Spine, Sesame (Part 1)

Recipe, pages 96-99. This is an interesting presentation for an unusual fish. Unusual in the sense that if you go to a ‘mainstream’ seafood restaurant — say like The Fish Market — they’ll never have it. However, you can find …  Read More

Rest in Peace, Willy

1 September 2008 – 7 July 2009, HBC RIP Willy, we’ll miss ya…

Alinea Sectional Pedestal by Crucial Detail

Serveware for CROQUETTE, Smoked Steelhead-Roe, Endive, Radish pages 138-139. Alinea Porcelain “Sectional” Pedestals I’m still excited. Along with two Alinea “Dune” plates, I also got ‘me a passel’ of Alinea “Sectional” Pedestals from J.B. Prince for CROQUETTE, Smoked Steelhead-Roe, Endive, …  Read More

Alinea Dune Plate by Crucial Detail

Serveware for AYU, Kombu, Fried Spine, Sesame, pg 97. Alinea “Dune” Plates I’m excited. I just received a big box from New York. I ordered some Alinea serveware from J.B. Prince for AYU, Kombu, Fried Spine, Sesame. The 10.5-inch square …  Read More

ENGLISH PEAS, Tofu, Ham, Pillow of Lavender Air (Part 3)

Recipe, pages 68-71. Continued from ENGLISH PEAS, Tofu, Ham, Pillow of Lavender Air (Part 2) This is a modern American take on a classic English dinner of peas and ham. Think English lavender from the garden and fresh gooseberries from …  Read More

ENGLISH PEAS, Tofu, Ham, Pillow of Lavender Air (Part 2)

Recipe, pages 68-71. Continued from ENGLISH PEAS, Tofu, Ham, Pillow of Lavender Air (Part 1) Day Two (Friday) First thing I did this morning was to take a trip to Specialty Produce for some fresh gooseberries, yellow pea shoots, and …  Read More

ENGLISH PEAS, Tofu, Ham, Pillow of Lavender Air (Part 1)

ENGLISH PEAS, Tofu, Ham, Pillow of Lavender Air

Recipe, pages 68-71. This was another three-dayer. As these recipes get a bit more complicated, I’ll break them up in multiple posts. Unless I hear from you about it 😉 It’s like I had a friend over for dinner — …  Read More

YOLK DROPS, Asparagus, Meyer Lemon, Black Pepper

Recipe, pages 100-101. This dish is a deconstructed, modern take on the classic side dish, asparagus with Hollandaise sauce. It uses all the main elements: asparagus, lemon, egg yolks and butter. And the technique of spherification, making solid or semi-solid …  Read More

Grant Achatz’s Alinea Cookbook Wins 2009 James Beard Foundation Award

JBL Award

Last night the prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards were presented at a star chef studded-event at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC. Grant Achatz took home the JBF award in the “Cooking from a Professional Point of View” category, for his …  Read More

Happy Anniversary Alinea

Today marks the fourth anniversary of Alinea restaurant, and the first anniversary of their website, Alinea Mosaic. Congrats to all!

OYSTER, Ginger, Steelhead Roe, Beer

Recipe, pages 95-95. I must preface this post by saying oysters are not my strong suit. Nothing from the phylum Mollusca, for me thanks. I’ve always hated them in shooters, and just generally in speaking. “‘Hate’ is such a strong …  Read More

Alinea is Now Number 10 on World’s 50 Best Restaurants List

Congratulations to all at Alinea Restaurant! All of your dedication and hard work has paid off, once again! This just in from ChicagoTrubune.com: Alinea (1723 N. Halsted St., 312-867-0110) is the 10th best restaurant in the world, according to the …  Read More

RASPBERRY, Goat’s Milk, Red Pepper Taffy, Pistachio (Alternate Servings)

Based on the recipe from pages 90-91. I had a bunch of stuff left over from the last recipe, RASPBERRY, Goat’s Milk, Red Pepper Taffy, Pistachio, so I decided to do a dinner entrée and a salad with it, instead …  Read More

RASPBERRY, Goat’s Milk, Red Pepper Taffy, Pistachio

Recipe, pages 90-91. So. It’s just my luck. The week I decide to do this dish, you know what happens? The biggest recall of tainted domestic pistachios in the country’s history. Some 2 million pounds of the damn stuff. Recalled. …  Read More

GREEN ALMOND, Sweet, Hot, Sour, Salt

Recipe, pages 76-77. This is a relatively simple recipe from the Alinea Restaurant cookbook. It’s a pretty easy recipe. Not too many ingredients or steps. All you have to do is find some green almonds. I was at my local …  Read More

TRANSPARENCY of Manchego Cheese

Recipe, pages 82-83. Ahh, spring is here! And a whole ‘nother chapter in da cookbook… Is it a tostada, or queso fundido? Sorta both. Kinda great. It’s got the elements of a taco, with Spanish ingredients, deconstructed. I made this …  Read More

AQUAVIT, Picholine Olive, Caraway

Kumquats

AQUAVIT, Picholine Olive, Caraway – Alinea Restaurant cookbook recipe, pages 276-277. Kumquats. I crack up every time I think of these little citrus gems. Can’t help it. Ever since I was little. I blame my dad — and W.C. Fields… …  Read More

Postmodern Pantry Update

An Update A new, temporary page is up on PostmodernPantry.com as of Thursday evening, March 5. Not much to look at. Just a background image, but maybe we’re getting closer? Postmodern Pantry, 06 Mar 2009 Updated from this comp (short …  Read More

SEA URCHIN, Vanilla, Chili, Mint

Recipe, pages 348-349. It doesn’t get much fresher than this. Saturday morning, I picked up three live sea urchins (US$3.50 each) at the Little Italy Mercato. San Diego Kelp Bed Products is a co-op of local divers that sells freshly …  Read More

LOBSTER, Tropical Fruits, Meyer Lemon, Hearts of Palm

Lobster, Tropical Fruits, Meyer Lemon, Hearts of Palm

Recipe, pages 348-351. Warning: This post is Rated R for culinary profanity. During our winter, there’s an abundance of wonderfully exotic Mexican subtropical and South American tropical fruits available to us. Some are easy to find locally, others, not so …  Read More

Postmodern Pantry

Postmodern Pantry Update I was just checking and guess what? Although it’s not online yet, Alinea’s e-commerce website Postmodern Pantry has changed a bit. They have posted a revised homepage image (not yet clickable) as a preview of things to …  Read More

YUZU, Pine, Black Sesame, Shiso

Recipe, pages 330-331. This dish falls in between several stronger tasting recipes in the menu at Alinea. I think it’s therefore meant to be more of a “palate cleanser” than anything else. I wondered if you’re supposed to use fresh …  Read More

BISON, Cranberry, Persimmon, Juniper Branch Aroma

Recipe, pages 322-323. I had a friend over to help cook this dish, which we learned is all about presentation. I picked up a bunch of local river rocks and heated them up in small cast iron skillets. When they …  Read More

BACON, Butterscotch, Apple, Thyme (Trailer Park Trash Remix)

Recipe, pg. 116 I made this “hacked” version of BACON, Butterscotch, Apple, Thyme in eight minutes and 42 seconds, from ingredients readily available at most supermarkets. And felt guilty every second of it. My deepest apologies to Chef Grant Achatz, …  Read More

BLACKBERRY, Tobacco, Smoke, Bee Balm

Recipe, pages 192-193. Ya know, ordinarily I would have used some fine cigar for this dish. But the last time I was exploring the local Asian market, Vien Dong World Foods Supermarket, I came across these bags of imported black …  Read More

APPLE, Horseradish, Celery Juice and Leaves

Recipe, pages 316-317. You take the drink, putting the white chocolate ball in your mouth. You instinctively swallow the celery juice first as you bite into the waxy ball. It squirts sweet apple juice. So you get a mix of …  Read More

TUNA, Candied and Dried

Recipe, pages 306-307. Snap into a Slim Jim! That’s what I thought of first when I read this recipe. And as I progressed through its steps, I was reminded of a wonderful guy named Mel. One of my Dad’s best …  Read More

PORK BELLY, Pickled Vegetables, BBQ Sugar, Polenta

Recipe, pages 328-329. Smoked short ribs smothered in barbecue sauce, with a side of sweet cornbread. That’s what it seems you’re eating, all in one big, surprisingly crunchy bite. This dish uses cayenne, paprika, chipotle and bell peppers, all forms …  Read More

CHEESE, In Cracker

Recipe, pages 358-359. This is one of the more popular out of the Alinea cookbook. And no wonder, it’s easy for the home cook, and turns out well (every time, if you follow the directions). Comfort food reminiscent of Cheez …  Read More

BLACK TRUFFLE Explosion, Romaine, Parmesan

Recipe, pages 238-239. When working at The French Laundry, chef Grant Achatz came up with the idea for this recipe, soon to become his “signature” dish. They made a sauce of black truffle stock reduced with butter, “so good he …  Read More

Fondant

Ingredient used in Almond Brittle Tuile, Apricot Sugar, Neutral Caramel, Neutral Tuile, Pepper Tuile, and Smoked Paprika Tuile. What is fondant? Fondant, fondant patissiere, rolled fondant, and fondant paste are forms of a simple sugar paste made from sugar, water …  Read More

HOT POTATO, Cold Potato, Black Truffle, Parmesan

Recipe, pages 304-305. Hot potato! Cold potato! Served in a wax bowl. How cool is that? This truffled potato shooter is the ultimate “cream of mushroom soup” on the planet. It’s very rich, creamy, buttery, and best served in small …  Read More

DUCK, Pumpkin, Banana, Thai Aromatics

Recipe, pages 224-225. It’s very simple. The reason I wanted to try this recipe was for it’s presentation. You’re handed a round-bottomed bowl of squash soup you can’t set down. A fork full of duck and aromatics is embedded into …  Read More

PHEASANT, Cider, Shallot, Oak

Recipe, pages 222-223. When I was growing up in Oregon, my brother and I couldn’t wait for autumn each year. We had an old oak tree in the backyard, which — to an eight-year-old — looked like about a billion …  Read More

IDIAZÁBAL, Blis Maple Syrup, Smoked Salt

Recipe, page 246. Idiazábal There’s something I find so appealing about Spanish cheeses. Maybe the salty, nutty quality that the sheep’s milk provides. I dunno. But whatever it is, when you deep fry it and add the sweetness of aged …  Read More

TRIPOD, Hibiscus

Alinea Restaurant hibiscus tripod

Recipe, page 215. This is another super simple recipe from the Alinea Restaurant cookbook. The small frozen sphere of intensely flavored tartness is the perfect palate cleanser in between entrees, or as a refreshing end of meal. The only thing …  Read More

Paraffin Wax Bowls

As seen in The 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss

HOT POTATO, Cold Potato, Black Truffle, Parmesan, pg 304 Paraffin Wax Bowls You ever wonder where on earth you can find those custom wax bowls they serve that potato soup in? Nope, you can’t just buy ’em. They’re made in-house …  Read More

BACON, Butterscotch, Apple, Thyme

Recipe, pg. 116 Although it’s a Spring recipe, I decided to try this out now. Actually, my kids made me do it. They thought it would be a yummy experiment — and a reward for me making them try MATSUTAKE, …  Read More

Errata, Alinea cook book, first edition

Errata. Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas. Alinea. First edition. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2008. Recipes not turning out like you’d hoped? Here is a list of errors, omissions, typos, etc. from the first edition, that might help. Compiled by many …  Read More

MATSUTAKE, Pine Nut, Mastic, Rosemary

Recipe, page 250. It’s all about the trees. Years ago there were Post Grape-Nuts TV ads featuring an old guy walking through the forest. “Every eat a pine tree? Some parts are edible,” he’d say. At the time most people …  Read More

Mastic

Ingredient in Mastic Cream, a component of MATSUTAKE, Pine Nut, Mastic, Rosemary, page 250 Greek mastic, or masticha, is the dried sap from the Mastic (Pistacia lentiscus) tree, a relative of the pistachio. The sap is collected and dried to …  Read More

Serveware for MATSUTAKE, Pine Nut, Mastic, Rosemary

Recipe, page 250 Lusting upon the food porn on the pages describing MATSUTAKE, Pine Nut, Mastic, Rosemary I kept asking myself what are those cool, covered glass vessels? I had to know. It wasn’t too hard to find out. But …  Read More

MANGO, Bonito, Soy, Sesame

Recipe, page 186. It seemed simple enough at the beginning. Two components — Mango Purée and Soy Pudding. Then I realized I didn’t have an antigriddle or dry ice. Nor the cool eyepiece serviceware from Crucial Detail. Let’s try it …  Read More

Simple Syrup

Ingredient in Mango Purée, page 186. This is truly so simple to make, why buy it at the store? Simple syrup is made with just two things, sugar and water. Simple Syrup I use the classic recipe from Hollinger and …  Read More

Preserved Meyer Lemons

recipe for Preserved Meyer Lemons

Ingredient in TOMATO, Mozzarella, Many Complementary Flavors; and LAMB, In Cubism. Although it’s not a dish in itself, but a condiment, I thought I’d add it here. Preserved lemons add a bit of zing to any recipe, and are quite …  Read More

About Alineaphile

Martin S. Lindsay - Alineaphile

About Alineaphile When I pre-ordered Grant Achatz’s Alinea Restaurant cookbook early in 2008, I knew it was gonna be good. Spending years working in restaurants during college, I was taught to cook as so many had before — traditionally. But …  Read More