42 Grams | Chicago Reader
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42 Grams

42 Grams

Things were tense when I dined at 42 Grams in spring 2015, but I couldn't put my finger on why. The answer seems clear now that I've seen this 2017 documentary about chef Jake Bickelhaupt; his wife, Alexa Welsh; and their short-lived but widely celebrated fine-dining restaurant, located below their Uptown apartment in a space that formerly housed a fried chicken joint. Director Jack C. Newell tracks the stressed, irritable, and driven chef from the restaurant's opening through the fleeting glory bestowed by Michelin stars and ultimately to divorce and closure. Give it your all and you can lose it all—that's the lesson, accompanied by the frenetic Philip Glass-like string arrangements that have become de riguer in the now ubiquitous genre of tortured-chef portrait.

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