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Richard Blais is an American chef, television personality, restaurateur and author. He appeared on the reality show cooking show Top Chef, and is known for his take on classic American cuisine. Blais was the runner-up for the fourth season of Top Chef and returned several seasons later to win Top Chef: All-Stars.
Blais in 2011
|Education||The Culinary Institute of America|
Education and early careerEdit
Blais was born in Uniondale, New York. He was adopted by his stepfather in the second grade. In 1982 as a pitcher for his "Franks Pizza" Little League team, Richard came in to pitch the final playoff game of the season with his team down by 2 runs. He managed to no hit the mighty "Sunocco" team for the next 5 innings as his squad scored 3 runs to win the game. Blais' first cooking job was in a McDonald's on Long Island, where he learned the basics of working in a kitchen. After moving on to a couple upscale restaurants while in college, he received an AOS in culinary arts from The Culinary Institute of America. After graduation, he was invited to complete a fellowship in the fish kitchen. He has studied under chefs Thomas Keller at The French Laundry, Daniel Boulud, and Ferran Adrià. He also trained at restaurants Chez Panisse and elBulli.
A native New Yorker, Blais relocated to Atlanta, Georgia in 2000 to run his own restaurant, called Fishbone. Initially, he was unimpressed with traditionally Southern ingredients, but found ways to elevate them in his own style. He founded Trail Blais, a creative culinary company that has consulted on, designed and operated some of Atlanta's most popular eateries.
In July 2011, Blais signed a cookbook deal with Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House. On February 26, he released his debut cookbook, Try This at Home: Recipes From My Head to Your Plate, an effort to make a simplified approach to adventurous cooking and offers new flavor combinations for home cooks to reinvent classic dishes. Try This at Home was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award 2014 in the category of Cookbook: General Cooking. Blais later opened Juniper & Ivy with Michael Rosen in San Diego, California, his first West Coast venture, where he showcases an innovative approach to California cuisine. He and Michael most recently opened Crack Shack, a fried chicken fine-casual concept, where the menu is built around chicken and eggs. Crack Shack has multiple locations in San Diego, Encinitas, Orange County and soon,[when?] Los Angeles.
On May 16, 2017, Blais released his second cookbook, So Good: 100 Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours, which features 100 elevated traditional recipes designed for the home cook.
Top Chef Edit
Blais appeared as a contestant on the fourth season of Bravo's Top Chef. In 2010, he competed in Top Chef: All-Stars and won the competition, earning the title of "Top Chef" by defeating Mike Isabella in the season finale, which aired on March 30, 2011. He was a recurring judge in seasons 12 and 13.
Other television appearancesEdit
Blais is a regular on the Food Network, with recurring appearances on Guy's Grocery Games as a judge, and has also hosted Food Network's Hungry Games, and Halloween Baking Championship. He competed in the second Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage tournament on November 4, 2015, winning his preliminary match and advancing to the finals; he has been a recurring judge on that series since season 12. He also has a recurring role as judge in the Masterchef and Masterchef Junior franchise. In 2015, Blais was the host of HLN's "Cook Your Ass Off," a transformational culinary contest that focused on healthy cooking competition. In 2017 he became the host of "Man v. Master," a culinary competition on the FYI Network. Richard has also appeared on various talk shows, including The TODAY Show, Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, The Chew, Live! with Kelly and Michael, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Blais had a cameo role in the 2016 feature film, Why Him?, starring James Franco and Bryan Cranston. In 2018, Blais appeared as a guest judge on Sugar Rush.
Currently, Blais runs:
- Juniper & Ivy – An American restaurant that opened in San Diego in March 3, 2014. At Juniper & Ivy, Blais offers refined, American cuisine with a "left coast edge."
- The Crack Shack – Blais partnered with chef Jon Sloan and Michael Rosen on this second San Diego-based restaurant, which opened in late 2015. The restaurant, "serves breakfast, lunch and dinner via an all-day menu that revolves around chicken and eggs, from fried to grilled and everything in-between". Crack Shack plans to expand to multiple locations throughout California including Orange County and Los Angeles.
- FLIP Burger Boutique – Blais was formerly involved with and co-founder of burger-focused restaurant, FLIP Burger Boutique, with three locations in Atlanta, one in Birmingham (closed), and a location in Nashville, Tennessee (closed).
In November 2011, Blais ran the ING New York City marathon for Alliance for a Healthier Generation. It was his first marathon, and he completed it in 4:31:54. He has since run four other New York City marathons. In November 2017, Blais ran the TCS New York City Marathon for Room to Read.
- Dekker, Nicholas (January 25, 2017). "Eat & Drink preview: Richard Blais of 'Top Chef'". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
- Blais 2017, p. 13.
- Blais & Colicchio 2013, p. 10.
- Ken Blais
- Blais & Colicchio 2013, p. 12.
- Blais & Colicchio 2013, p. 13.
- "Podcast One Adds 'Starving For Attention With Richard Blais'". All Access. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
- Bravotv.com. "Season 4 Bios: Richard Blais". Archived from the original on January 24, 2009. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
- Sugar Rush - Season 1, Episode 4, retrieved 2019-06-28
- Eater.com. "Inside Most Anticipated Juniper & Ivy, Plus a Menu Reveal". Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Richard Blais Jumps into Chicken (and Egg) Game With Crack Shack". Eater San Diego. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
- "FLIP Burger". Flip Burger Boutique. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- Johnston, Lauren (29 September 2011). "2011 NYC marathon celebrity runners announced! And the runners are ..." NYDailyNews.com. Running Dialogue. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
- Murphy, Jen (25 February 2013). "In Pursuit of Love, Chef Learns to Love Running". Dow Jones & Company, Inc. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
- "Richard Blais Gets Active for Education with Room to Read at TCS New York City Marathon". Businesswire.com. Retrieved 8 December 2017.