Real-Life ‘Ratatouille’? Alinea Chef Grant Achatz Just Revealed The Rats In His Sleeves That Do All Of The Cooking
By: Alan Giles
CHICAGO, IL—In the modern, ever-expanding culinary landscape, few chefs have left a larger footprint than Chicago’s Grant Achatz. Owner of restaurants like Roister, Next, and world-renowned Alinea, his experimental approach to cooking has boosted him to fame and critical success. But now, in a shocking turn of events, Achatz has shown the world that his success cannot be considered a lone accomplishment. At the height of his career, Chef Grant Achatz just revealed the rats in his sleeves that do all of the cooking.
Talk about a real-life Ratatouille!
The James Beard Award-winning chef made the announcement over Facebook Live earlier this week. In the video, Achatz addresses the camera directly while standing in the Alinea kitchen alone (or so it seems, at first).
“Many of you are familiar with Alinea and our groundbreaking culinary techniques,” Achatz says with a coy smile. “But I think it’s time you are all formally introduced to the real masterminds behind my gastronomical empire. Behold!” Achatz then holds up both of his arms and shakes them furiously for about thirty seconds before two large rats finally fall out of the sleeves of his chef uniform and onto the table in front of him, one from each sleeve.
“World, meet your favorite chefs: Rocko and Liv Tyler!” Achatz exclaims as the rats scurry in circles on the table. “They are named so I can easily remember which sleeve they prefer. ‘Rocko’ starts with an ‘R’ so he goes in the right sleeve, and ‘Liv Tyler’ starts with an ‘L’ so she goes in the left sleeve. It’s just simple grammar.”
What a brilliant mind! Achatz then goes on to describe how he became acquainted with his rodent cohorts.
“I was sitting on a bench on the Chicago Riverwalk, just munching on a McChicken, when all of sudden, I felt two sets of tiny feet crawling up my back,” he recalls. “Before I could react, I heard two squeaky voices, one in each ear, say ‘it’s cooking time’. Then they slid into my sleeves and we’ve been cooking together ever since!”
The remaining 34 minutes of the video follows Rocko and Liv Tyler as Achatz explains how they cook every dish. From avant-garde wagyu steaks to the iconic sugar balloon, those little scamps create the entire Alinea menu. The video ends with Achatz setting the record straight.
“Before I met these guys, I had never even considered cooking. Heck, I could barely tell a spoon from a fork!” Achatz chuckles. “I am merely a human flesh vessel for these two culinarily-gifted rodents. If you have ever liked my food, it’s thanks to Rocko and Liv Tyler.”
Way to give credit where credit is due, Grant!
What an incredible legacy Rocko and Liv Tyler have created as the first Michelin-starred rats. Share if you are happy for Rocko and Liv Tyler!