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Grant Achatz Diagnosed with Cancer

NY Times dining editor Pete Well reports that Grant Achatz, the 33-year old pioneering chef who created Alinea in Chicago, has been diagnosed with an advanced stage of squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth. That is, he has cancer. Achatz statement to Wells via his publicist:

“I wanted to personally report that I have been very recently diagnosed with an advanced stage of squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth. I have consulted several prominent physicians and will likely begin aggressive treatment within the next few weeks. I remain, and will remain, actively and optimistically engaged in operations at Alinea to the largest extent possible. Alinea will continue to perform at the level people have come to expect from us — I insist on that. I have received amazing support from friends, family, and everyone who has thus far been told of the disease, and I look forward to a full, cancer-free, recovery.”
More from Wells: "His energy level is high, he said, but because eating is painful he has lost about 12 pounds in the past two weeks. While he weighs his treatment options, he said he was “trying to work as much as possible,” and has already started planning his fall menu."
· A Chef's Toughest Challenge [NYT]

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