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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Robert Baer and Dayna Baer discuss about their life as married CIA agents. Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas talk about running Alinea, named the Best Restaurant in America, after Achatz was diagnosed with tongue cancer.

A Secret Affair

What happens when two spies fall in love? It sounds like the beginning of a riddle, but for Robert Baer and Dayna Baer, it was simply their life. Stationed in Croatia in the early 1990s, Robert was a seasoned agent biding his time and Dayna was an up and comer hoping to learn from a veteran and then get out. In The Company We Keep: A Husband-and-Wife True-Life Spy Story, the Baers recount their unlikely affair and what happened once they tried to leave The Company.

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When Senses Fail

In 2007, chef Grant Achatz seemingly had it made. He had been named one of the best new chefs in America by Food & Wine and the restaurant he co-founded, Alinea, had just been deemed the Best Restaurant in America by Gourmet magazine. Then, Achatz was diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma--tongue cancer. In Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat, he and his partner, Nick Kokonas, recount the story of their rise to the top and how they managed to work through Achatz's deadly diagnosis to once again take the food world by storm.

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Guest Picks: Nick Kokonas

Nick Kokonas stopped by The Leonard Lopate Show to share some of his favorite picks!

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Guest Picks: Grant Achatz

Chef Grant Achatz shares some of his favorite movies, music and more with us!

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It's All In The Presentation

Today, Leonard spoke to chef Grant Achatz, whose restaurant, Alinea, is consistently named one of the best restaurants in America for its creative takes on traditional food. Achatz is known as one of the leaders of molecular gastronomy, which places an emphasis on the chemical properties of food. Molecular gastronomists like Achatz are often known for their elaborate, almost surreal plating techniques.

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