I found out last week that I have gestational diabetes. I saw the dietician yesterday and she gave me the equipment I need to check my blood sugar four times a day as well as lists of foods and how to manage my diet. I hate it because I’ve never dieted and I’ve been fortunate enough to maintain a normal weight despite my love of food. My feeling has always been, what’s the point of making yourself miserable just to be a few pounds lighter?
This minor (and hopefully temporary inconvenience) is nothing compared to what Grant Achatz had to go through when he is diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma. After all he had accomplished, it looked like his star would burn bright for only a short while. Even knowing how the story ends (or doesn’t, seeing as how he is still alive and well, still creating in Chicago!), I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish the book.
The majority of the book is about how he came to where he is now and what an amazing first 30 years! His drive is inspirational. His imagination and endless innovation is staggering. I am in awe. He thinks beyond traditional flavors and textures. He thinks about the emotions that can be evoked by tastes and scents. He calls on all the senses to create an experience. I love this philosophy because to me, food isn’t just about eating for sustenance. It’s about feeding people I love, it’s about tradition, it’s the way I remember, it can be a source of comfort or a reason to get excited. When we visit a new city, the first thing I do is look for places to eat. My husband swears he would never pay for a $200 meal (per person) and I have to agree that it is way outside our budget, especially with a baby on the way. But I hope to someday experience his food. For now, I can only look at the pretty pictures (see his book Alinea) and dream.