Center News

Premier Chefs Dinner raises record $518,000

Chef Grant Achatz inspires guests with tales of cutting-edge cuisine and cancer treatment

May 30, 2011
chef Grant Achatz

Headline chef Grant Achatz, of Chicago's Alinea and Next restaurants, detailed his own battle with a rare and aggressive form of tongue cancer that left him without the ability to taste food for more than a year.

Photo by Kim Doyle, Team Photogenic

“Molecular gastronomist” and cancer survivor chef Grant Achatz headlined the 20th anniversary Premier Chefs Dinner, raising a record $518,000 for the Hutchinson Center and its pancreas cancer research effort.

Donations from guests were boosted by a $150,000 challenge gift from Maryanne Tagney-Jones and David Jones and a moving account from the Center’s Dr. Sunil Hingorani on what it’s like to battle pancreas cancer in the lab and in real life. In addition, Achatz detailed his own battle with a rare and aggressive form of tongue cancer that left him without the ability to taste food for more than a year.

Guests were treated to hors d’oeuvres and a multi-course dinner prepared by local chef participants Dalis Chea, Herban Feast; Kevin Davis, Steelhead Diner and Blueacre Seafood; Jason Franey, Canlis; Daisley Gordon, Campagne; Christine Keff, Flying Fish; Brian McCracken and Dana Tough, Spur Gastropub and Tavern Law; Scott Staples, Quinn’s and Zoë; Johnathan Sundstrom, Lark; and Jerry Traunfeld, Poppy.

Providing wines for the reception and dinner were Brian Carter Cellars, Efeste Winery, L'Ecole No. 41, Selvatica, Smasne Cellars, Substance and Tranche Cellars.

The dinner is an annual presentation by the Premier Chefs Dinner Advisory Board and the Magnolia Guild. More information is available at www.fhcrc.org/chefs.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.