Photography: Lara Kastner for Metropolis

In each of our lives, we are given a unique set of gifts, challenges and even obstacles.  They say that the truly happy and successful people are those that can take even the seemingly negative aspects of their lives and find a way to alter their perspective and make them work as positive forces instead.  Furthermore, when tragedy strikes, we have a choice: Do we dig deeper into ourselves and rediscover our perceived place in the balance of life, using it as a catalyst for positive change? Or, do we allow ourselves to get stuck into the mire of depression and doubt?

History is full of disabled artists who have created iconic works of art.  One wonders if Beethoven composed such powerful music in spite of or because of his deafness.  In much the same way, Grant Achatz of Chicago’s Alinea, an F&W Best New Chef 2002, had to redefine his own craftsmanship and stylistic approach to epicurean artistry when he was diagnosed with tongue cancer and temporarily lost his ability to taste.

An inspiring story of overcoming cancer and maintaining hope and dignity while transforming tragedy into an evolved artistic experience, Food & Wine profiles Grant Achatz and how his temporary loss of taste made him a better chef and more adventurous and creative force in the kitchen.

Read Andrew Solomon’s article, “Cancer & Creativity: One Chef’s True Story


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