chefs and their kitchens

During this morning’s Muni commute, I got to the chapter of chef Grant Achatz’s book, “”Life, on the Line,” where he’s talking about his avant garde vision of opening up Alinea – he’s specific of his wants and needs for both front-of-house and kitchen –  while trying to appease his investors who are used to the run-of-the-mill stuffy fine dining establishments.  What a wonderful thing to not only have that clear, Captain Kirk vision of going where no man has gone before, but also to have the means of carrying it out.

He is the reason I’m spending my birthday in Chicago.

Moving this closer to home, for the past several years I’ve been extolling the virtues of chef Ian Begg and sommelier/ FOH man, Ryan Maxey’s Naked Lunch.  They feature a revolving sandwich menu and Ryan’s special virgin but always refreshing concoction beverages.  They recently took over the now defunct Enrico’s in North Beach, and will be opening up Txoko, a late night tapas restaurant later this month.  Ian and Ryan have been talking about opening a tapas place for almost as long as I’ve known them.  Maybe even longer.  Naked Lunch was closed today for renovations but I decided to stroll by to see what they were up to.  I peered through the window and when chef Ian saw me, he opened the door to show off his USS Enterprise.  The kitchen looked pretty much gutted out.  “”Just so we can have it the way we want it,” he said.  Spoken like a true chef.

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