Leadership That Works: It’s All about the People

“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.”

Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur

Grant Achatz is one of the most innovative chefs working today. A trip to his renowned restaurant Alinea in Chicago is half experimental theater, half fine-dining experience; it’s white tablecloth refinement and childlike wonder in equal measure. One of Achatz’s most dazzling signature dishes is an edible helium balloon, which elicits oohs and aahs from charmed patrons as it floats above them. Another showstopper is a scallop dish that arrives at the table with an ethereal citrus mist that envelops the diner in a cloud of vapor. A pioneer and expert in modernist or “progressive” cuisine, Achatz has achieved worldwide acclaim including multiple James Beard awards, Michelin’s venerable three-star rating (the most prestigious global measure of a restaurant’s quality and service), and Alinea has earned the top spot as the best restaurant in the United States three different times as well as earning the accolade of best restaurant in the world.

Lauded as a visionary, Achatz employs a rule-breaking creativity in the kitchen that is often the topic of wonder. Food writers, restaurateurs, and diners alike all want to know: what’s his secret, how does he stretch the idea of what food can be so skillfully and yet with such abandon? Is it magic, a muse, an unfair dose of talent ...

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