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Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

This autobiography rises above a single genre. It’s a story about Grant Achatz—an artistic, culinary genius who puts everything into his work, becoming one of the youngest award-winning chefs in the world. But during his greatest success, Achatz is diagnosed with Stage IV tongue cancer. He chooses to reject treatment that could jeopardize his tongue and sense of taste. His partner, Nick Kokonas, refuses to give up; he researches alternative treatments and pushes Achatz to see specialists. When an article in the Chicago Tribune appears about Achatz’s diagnosis, the University of Chicago offers Achatz a spot in a pioneering medical program, which could save his tongue, and his life. This is a compelling read and I could not put this down for three days. - Cindy


"One of America's great chefs" (Vogue), Grant Achatz, shares how his drive to cook immaculate food fueled his miraculous triumph over tongue cancer.

By 2007 chef Grant Achatz had been named one of the best new chefs in America by Food & Wine, he had received the James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, and he and Nick Kokonas had opened the conceptually radical restaurant Alinea, which was named Best Restaurant in America by Gourmet magazine. Then, positioned firmly in the world's culinary spotlight, Achatz was diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma-tongue cancer.

The prognosis grim, Grant undertook an alternative treatment of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation that ravaged his body and left him without a sense of taste. Tapping into his profound discipline and passion, he trained his chefs to mimic his palate and learned how to cook with his other senses. As Kokonas was able to attest, the food was never better. Five months later, Grant was declared cancer-free and went on to achieve some of the highest honors in the culinary world. Life, on the Line is not only a chef's memoir, it is also a book about survival, about nurturing creativity, and about profound friendship.

About the Author

Grant Achatz is the owner of Alinea, Next and The Aviary in Chicago. He lives in Chicago.
Nick Kokonas partnered with Grant Achatz to develop Alinea, Next and The Aviary. He lives with his wife and two sons in Chicago.

Praise for Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat…

"[Life, on the Line] may be the best, most inspiring chef memoir ever written."
--American Way

"[Life, on the Line] is full of energy and without pretense."
--Chicago Tribune

"The next great food memoir."

"This must-read for the culinary crowd is the literary equivalent of caviar and Krug. Foodies will marvel at Achatz's thought process on his molecular creations, while Kokonas provides a detailed glimpse of the artistic vision and creation of modern fine dining."

"Writing with the panache of professionals, Achatz, chef and owner of Chicago's Alinea, and his business partner, Kokonas, relate the story of Achatz's life and work in a memoir that lives up to its expansive subtitle. ...Achatz and Kokonas share an engaging, well-written, and informative description of what it's like to work in commercial kitchens along with the stirring story of Achatz's fight for his life."
--Library Journal

Product Details ISBN-10: 1592406971
ISBN-13: 9781592406975
Published: Gotham, 03/06/2012
Pages: 432
Language: English

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