Grant Achatz

AGE: 37
OCCUPATION: Chef and restaurateur

Chicago’s restaurant scene may once have lagged behind the coasts—but not since Achatz vaporized and aromatized his way to the pinnacle of the foodie-verse. You better believe that each time he launches the next Next menu (homage to El Bulli in progress), gourmands across the globe hop flights to Chicago, and people who know people who know people start making calls in hopes of snagging a Golden Ticket—at any price.

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Photograph: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune