When Grant Achatz graduated from culinary school at the age of 21, he hoped to become a world-renowned chef like his mentors and idols. He grew up working in restaurants, and his family even owned a diner in Michigan.

Joining Thomas Keller for five years at the French Laundry, he rose to chef de cuisine. Then, he worked at El Bulli in Spain and Trio outside of Chicago, where he accepted his first executive chef position. Here, he received rising star recognition from the James Beard Foundation, which led to Achatz partnering to open a restaurant of his own.

Alinea was born and received three stars from Michelin — one of only 12 U.S. restaurants to hold the honor. He has since opened additional restaurants in Chicago, including The Aviary restaurant and bar.