A few minutes ago, New York Times Dining section editor Pete Wells broke the sobering news that 33-year-old Alinea chef-partner Grant Achatz has an advanced form of cancer of the mouth.
Here is Achatz's statement released by his publicist:
I wanted to personally report that I have been very recently diagnosed with an advanced stage of squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth. I have consulted several prominent physicians and will likely begin aggressive treatment within the next few weeks. I remain, and will remain, actively and optimistically engaged in operations at Alinea to the largest extent possible. Alinea will continue to perform at the level people have come to expect from us—I insist on that. I have received amazing support from friends, family, and everyone who has thus far been told of the disease, and I look forward to a full, cancer-free, recovery.
Wells himself wrote one of the earliest and most thoughtful profiles of Achatz a couple of years ago for Food & Wine. Our prayers and thoughts are with Grant, perhaps America's most innovative and influential young chef.
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