This week's Culture Vultures recommend: | Culture Vultures | Chicago Reader

This week's Culture Vultures recommend: 

Life, on the Line, Sleepwalk With Me, and Busting Loose From the Money Game

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PJ Powers, artistic director at TimeLine Theatre Company, which is currently performing 33 Variations, cracks one open for:

Life, on the Line I am passionate not only about theater but also food. In particular, I'm often drawn to biographies of great chefs or to exposés that take you behind the scenes in notable kitchens. In many ways, it's similar to my world of producing theater and the challenge of delivering a transformative experience for a new audience every night.

There are many great books out there that do this, but my most recent recommendation is Life, on the Line by chef Grant Achatz and his business partner, Nick Kokonas. While I regrettably have yet to eat at either of their restaurants, Alinea or Next, I did thoroughly enjoy this fascinating window into their partnership and the process of building Alinea, all while Achatz waged a vicious battle with cancer. For anyone who has ever built something from scratch, overcome tremendous odds, or enjoyed thoroughly decadent dining, it's an inspiring and interesting read. And if, like me, you are a junkie for insight into the culinary world, well, pour a glass of wine and crack open this book for a great treat.

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