Acclaimed molecular gastronomy chef Grant Achatz caused a stir over the weekend when he took to his Twitter account to ask his followers if a ban on babies was in order at his three-Michelin-starred Chicago eatery Alinea.
The establishment uses a ticketing system which requires would-be patrons to reserve, and pay for, their entire meal (minus the drinks) weeks in advance. If something comes up at the last minute, Alinea allows customers to sell their reservations or hand them off to someone else.
In other words, there is no reason to bring an infant to Alinea unless you want to — something Achantz doesn't recommend:
— Grant Achatz (@Gachatz) January 13, 2014
The chef's twitter solicitation brought out a who's who of opinionated eaters — from Chicago food writer Michael Nagrant, to Saveur's executive digital editor Helen Rosner.
For his part, Alinea co-owner Nick Kokonas said his restaurant has welcomed newborn diners in the past with out incident. "It's never about the kids," he told Nagrant. "It's always about the parents."
Though he hadn't yet reached a conclusion re: a baby ban, Achantz appeared to still be considering one.
"We want people to come and enjoy and experience Alinea for what it is," he said. "But we also have to be cognizant of the other 80 people that came in to experience Alinea that night."