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How to Get 3 Michelin Stars: Be Hard on Yourself and Make Floating Food

Mike Bagale's path to success at Alinea

How does an experimental Chicago chef serving edible balloons and flavored air earn 3 stars from Michelin, the old-school gastronomic guide? According to Alinea’s Mike Bagale: by being a perfectionist. As executive chef of the restaurant founded and run by Grant Achatz, Bagale has a hand in developing nearly every boundary-pushing dish the Lincoln Park favorite puts on the table (sometimes literally), and he never backs away from a challenge. Watch to hear him describe his process — spoiler: not all of his ideas are winners! — and get a peek at some of the many stunning courses coming out of the Alinea kitchen. The original incarnation of Alinea is now on hiatus as the dining room undergoes a remodel, but Achatz, Bagale, and the whole crew are popping up in Madrid (at the NH Hotel Eurobuilding) and then Miami (at Faena) early this year. Follow along on

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