Here's a video from Potluck Video featuring Alinea chef Grant Achatz, chef de cuisine Mike Bagale, and director of culinary operations Eric Rivera discussing the creative process at Alinea and what the future might bring. Achatz says that over the years at Alinea "the core philosophy is still in place: Since day one it was always about literally constant evolution." To that end, Bagale and Rivera explain that they will find sometimes find inspiration by delving deeply into one ingredient. Achatz says they "look at emotion as an ingredient," and that new techniques and new equipment can be sources of inspiration as well.
Achatz also says he's come "to the conclusion we have to start a farm." He says that the restaurant pays one of its vegetable vendors $350,000 a year, and that for the same amount of money he could get a mortgage for land 30 miles outside of Chicago. With the farm, he imagines growing heirloom varieties and produce for the restaurant, but also serving guests on the property. At this point it seems more like an idea Achatz is toying with, but he certainly seems excited about the prospect. Go, watch: