When people are willing to pay up to $3,000 just to snag a reservation at your restaurant, you know you’re kind of a big deal. Grant Achatz, the 36-year-old chef and owner of Michelin–starred Alinea and recently opened Next, was the only person in the food world to make the list (unless, of course, you count the Obamas). The buzziest restaurant opening this year, Next will switch up its menu and theme every three months – and foodies are foaming at the mouth to get a taste.
The ode to the Chicago chef is written by French Laundry’s Thomas Keller. “I have always believed that there are many cooks in the world but not many chefs in the true sense of the word, he writes. “Grant exemplifies the modern chef — and nothing, not even tongue cancer, has impeded his vision and desire.”
Are there other chefs or food personalities that you think should have made the list? Weigh in!
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Time magazine's assistant managing editor Radhika Jones talks to msnbc's Savannah Guthrie about a handful of the 100 Most Influential People for 2011, including pop stars, a Tiger Mom and heads of state.