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David Hammond dishes on the inspiration behind the Soundbites series

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Eight Forty-Eight contributor David Hammond recently launched a new series called SoundBites. I asked him to give us a little background on where the idea for the series came from. Here’s what he said: moons_blog1

Recently, as I was interviewing Chef Achatz at Alinea for what may be the last segment of the Soundbites series, I admitted to him that he was the inspiration for this project. He seemed surprised. Here’s the backstory. Last year, it became public knowledge that Chef Achatz had squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth, and that this condition might permanently impair his sense of taste. In that same year, Achatz -- still in his thirties -- was recognized with a James Beard Award. For someone so young and brilliant to be struck with this horribly ironic disease was a tragedy of Shakespearean dimensions, and yet, I felt that perhaps as with blind musicians whose loss of one sense seems to enhance others, perhaps this impairment of taste (which, thankfully, was temporary) might have enhanced other senses -- hearing, for instance. Just about every chef I spoke with said “I never thought about how I use sound before." Still, as we spoke in kitchens, dining rooms and bars around the city, it became clear that every one of these chefs uses sound a great deal, and that many had very definite opinions about how sound could -- and should! -- be managed in a restaurant. Achatz did answer my question, but I don’t want to spill my candy in the lobby here, so listen for the the segment"¦and there’s no reason why the series has to end there. Eight Soundbites will air on Eight Forty-Eight, but if you know a chef who makes unique use of sound, let us know. We’re all ears!

David’s right-send us an email: 848@chicagopublicradio.org or send us a Tweet! And stay tuned for upcoming Soundbites segments on Eight Forty-Eight.
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