What are Grant Achatz's favorite restaurants?
In New York, one that is completely obvious is Per Se, because Thomas Keller is my mentor and a friend of mine. I worked at The French Laundry for four and a half years, and he is an incredible person, but the reason it blew me away was not only because the food was phenomenal and the service and the wine and all that, but as a young cook I thought, “Okay, French Laundry is the pinnacle, and there’s no way that Thomas can ever replicate that.” And yet he did. He made it maybe even better than perfect. El Bulli was another amazing experience for me, but it’s closed. I think one of the best restaurants in the world, flat-out, is El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain. It might be the number one meal in my life. I ate there last year. There’s also a Barcelona tapas restaurant called Cal Tete. It’s basically a bar, but the food is incredible. We had squid and octopus and sardines, and the croquetas there are phenomenal.