Thanks to a link from Portland Food and Drink, I got caught up on chef Grant Achatz (his last name rhymes with "rackets"), who is the leader of the American chef pack who practice molecular gastronomy, the manipulating of the things we eat...chocolate that doesn't melt when subjected to heat, for example....at his Chicago restaurant Alinea. I remember reading over a year ago how Achatz, now only 34, had been diagnosed with tongue cancer, what can only be a cruel irony for any chef. I hadn't heard much beyond that, but have been thinking about him recently after picking up Michael Ruhlman's excellent book "The Reach of a Chef", where Achatz is among those profiled. In this story from The New Yorker, Achatz tells of how his doctors were advising him to have 3/4 of his tongue cut out of his mouth or be dead within months. To Achatz that was unthinkable. The New Yorker tells the story of his remarkable journey through treatment, where he lost all sense of taste, to his uncertain "recovery". Portland F&D links to this New York Times "Diner's Journal" article about Achatz which is also worth a read. Food for thought, indeed.
picture from The New Yorker