Chef Grant Achatz's Hamachi: Don’t Try This at Home

By Corby Kummer

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Diners at Achatz's Chicago restaurant, Alinea, choose between a 12- and a 24-course menu. Each dish holds a surprise brought off by methods more typical of laboratories than kitchens. At left, in an old-fashioned bar blender, fresh blackberries imported from Chile are blended for a vinaigrette of red-wine vinegar, grapeseed oil, salt, sugar, and a liqueur made from cassis--dramatically big and deep-flavored blackberries popular in France.