“When you see a Van Gogh, you know it’s a Van Gogh”

Here’s a recent video of a menu development meeting with the staff at Alinea. It’s an interesting inside look at how Chef Grant Achatz and his team take on the challenge of staying constantly at the forefront of modern cuisine. In particular, Achatz talks about how easy it is to identify certain plating styles with the restaurant and time period they come from, drawing a parallel to other forms of art: “When you see a Van Gogh, you it’s a Van Gogh…. That’s Charlie Trotter, 1995. I know that presentation.”

If you’re not following the Alinea Mosaic and videos, you should be. Achatz is one of the most creative chefs working today, and has shown an unprecedented level of openness, right from his initial eGullet series on what was then the “Alinea project.” (Sadly, it appears it can no longer be found on eGullet.) Alinea is a wellspring of inspiration for me and countless others.

What chefs and restaurants serve as your sources of inspiration?

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