Facebook/Twenty First Century Limited
We so called it: The super mysterious project collaboration with New York's Eleven Madison Park and Chicago's Alinea is a pop-up switcheroo, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Just like the promo video hinted, the two restaurants will swap spaces, kitchens, dining rooms, and chefs, opening limited-time pop-up restaurants in each other's restaurants.
Alinea staff, including Grant Achatz himself, will be taking over EMP starting Sept. 26 for five nights, while EMP will invade Alinea starting Oct. 10 for five nights.
Tickets will reportedly go on sale via Facebook in the upcoming weeks, with prices reportedly at $495 a plate. And it looks like Achatz has got something to prove.
"I can't tell you how many chefs have said to me, 'Yeah, you're a big fish in a small pond. The only reason you're so popular is because you're in the Midwest.’ In a way, we're amped up," Achatz told the Tribune. "I want to introduce Alinea food to the jaded New Yorker. We're going to show New Yorkers what Chicago food is all about."
Since Alinea's New York stint starts first, three days before Sept. 26 Grant Achatz and chef de cuisine Matt Chasseur will fly a team to New York and give EMP staff a crash course of Alinea's cooking style. Similarly, EMP's Daniel Humm and Will Guidara will arrive three days before Oct. 10 to school Alinea's staff.
Meanwhile, both restaurants will continue running as normal in their own cities, meaning Alinea will be in New York and Chicago at the same time, while EMP disappears from Sept. 26 to 30. EMP will then pop up in Chicago and New York, while Alinea disappears, for the EMP stint. Let the Facebook stalking begin.