More Than Just a Cool Name

04Oct08

Next Tuesday, October 7, Grant Achatz’s new cookbook debuts on bookstore shelves across the country. I happen to have gotten a peek since my boss is not only a frequent visitor of the restaurant but also good friends with Chef Achatz. The book itself is amazing – the photography is stunning, to say the least, and the science behind each creation is fascinating.

After paging through the book on Friday, I was talking to my boss and asked him if he knew the story behind the name of the restaurant, Alinea. Originally, I assumed it was someone’s name – or maybe even a favorite vacation spot. But I wasn’t even close.

An ‘alinea’ is the typographical character indicating the start of a new paragraph. I’m sure you’ve seen it before – it kind of looks like a backwards ‘P’ with two lines. Anyways, as the innovators in the food industry with their molecular gastronomy approach to cooking, I was almost left speechless with the simplicity and perfection of the name. A new idea. A new thought. A new way of cooking. And a new way of thinking about food.

Although it’s often overlooked, restaurant concepting is just as much brand development and marketing as anything we do on a daily basis. And Alinea is the perfect example of that. Everything about the restaurant and the food served there reflects a new way of doing things.

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