Imagine that you’re a world renowned American chef. Barely into your 30s, your innovation and approach to cooking have garnered international attention, and in some circles, you’re regarded as a culinary genius.
Your flagship restaurant is considered one of the top 10 restaurants in the world, and you have 3 Michelin stars (arguably the most prestigious honor for a restaurant or chef) to go along with it. For all intents and purposes, you’re on top of the world.
Now imagine that, in the midst of all of this, you find out that you have advanced-stage cancer. And not just any cancer, but tongue cancer.
This was the case for Chef Grant Achatz – one of the great culinary minds of the world. In 2007, Achatz was diagnosed with stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth. The cancer was not only incredibly serious, but any chance for survival would potentially require him to lose part of his tongue and leave him with an impaired sense of taste. For chefs, tasting is everything. A chef losing their sense of taste is akin to a piano virtuoso losing feeling in their hands. It’s a nightmare scenario, but one that Grant Achatz faced.
Check out the brief video to hear more about Achatz in his own words. I highly encourage you to do a little searching on your own about the chef. His story is incredibly unique.