While it is true that the offer for the Alinea book predates all of those books we regularly get similar inquiries and offers for Next, Aviary, Achatz home cooking, and even Alinea II books.
I think for the most part publishers and agents rely on the fact that most writers / chefs / restaurant owners are not great biz people or do not have the time or inclination to really dig into the how and why of producing and distributing a book. They *always* tell you that the deal is not the best part for you — it’s the publicity, speaking engagements, etc. Then the speaking engagement people tell you to do the event for free so you can sell more books. I swear it’s true!!