The Story of a Tongue


There is a man.
He is a renowned chef.
He started a restaurant in Chigago called Alinea.
As restaurants go, Alinea is placed around 6th in the world.
And the man?
His name is Grant Achatz.

Now Grant’s restaurant is intensely specific.
An integral part of his offering is his tasting menu.
This is where you can taste delicious, tiny morsels of food.
To put things into perspective for you, his tasting menu costs
in the region of $219 – $265!

The man prepares some serious food.
People go there to indulge in new sensations,
to taste new tastes, new blends, new combinations.

Grant got cancer.

Can you guess where?
Of the tongue.

The diagnosis?
Remove it.

It like a perfume maker being told to remove his nose.
It’s the deaf composer.
The runner without legs.

Grant refused.
After visiting doctor after doctor, he finally found one that preformed a very specific
combination of chemo and radiation.

He reports that it was as if he had harsh, sever sunburn in his mouth,
down his throat and on the outside too.
To his dismay – he lost all his sense of taste.

What do you do in a situation like this?
How do you cope when you hit a wall that is black and hard?

Well Grant insists that this was the time that he drew on his true creativity.
He carried on going into work at his restaurant, but worked 10 hour days instead of 14
and he continued to design tasting menus.
With no taste!

This time he used his imagination to conceive the ideas instead of his tongue.

Grant got a fellow chef that he trusted to do the tasting and actually broke new ground
in the land of taste.
As his imagination kicked into high gear Achatz found inspiration in his temporary disability, deciding that it would turn him into a better chef.

Grant says the whole experience has transformed his cooking.
Its allowed him radical leaps.

Grant Achatz is now cancer free
He has his tongue.
His sense of taste has returned.
He is a better chef than ever before.

And Grant Achtaz knows that there are no guarantees.
He knows that his illness ignited his imagination.

This is me Tania Ahlfeldt and I cannot help wondering if Beethovens deafness ensured that he wrote brilliant music, or if losing your tongue means finding it?
And of course, I cannot help but wonder what your lack and your creativity can do for you today.

Above photo: Courtesy of link below, click to find out more.

Above photo: Courtesy of link below, click to find out more.


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