First look: Alinea book SEP 02 2008
Michael Ruhlman has some photos of the Alinea book in the wild. Though possibly biased, he says it's a beaut.
Grant and his partner Nick Kokonas, along with designer Martin Kastner and his wife, photographer Lara Kastner, wanted to do it on their own and so they have. Kastner, I believe a sculptor by trade, had never designed a book. His wife had never photographed a book, food or otherwise. Grant and Nick had never done a book either. And they were told by numerous publishers (in a nasally dismissive tone, Kokonas suggested) that they just didn't have the skill or experience to do what they wanted to ("Gray pages?! You can't do gray pages!" "You can't sell a book like this at that price.")
As mentioned in the post, the Alinea book is only $31.50 if you order through Amazon.