February 19, 1972 |
Uniondale, New York, United States
|Education||The Culinary Institute of America|
Richard Blais (born February 19, 1972), perhaps most recognizable as winner of Top Chef All Stars, is known for his innovative take on classic American cuisine. He is an American chef, reality show contestant, restaurateur and James Beard-nominated author. He was the runner-up of the fourth season of the reality television show Top Chef and the winner of season eight, Top Chef: All-Stars.
Education and early career
Blais was born in Uniondale, New York. He received an AOS in culinary arts from The Culinary Institute of America and has studied under chefs Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, and Ferran Adrià. Blais has also studied in numerous famed restaurants, including Chez Panisse.
A native New Yorker, Blais relocated to Atlanta in 2000 where he founded Trail Blais, a creative culinary company that has consulted on, designed and operates some of Atlanta’s most popular eateries including The Spence and FLIP Burger Boutique. In February 2013, Blais released his debut cookbook, Try This at Home: Recipes From My Head to Your Plate, which reveals 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 “Cookbook: General Cooking” category. Most recently, Blais opened Juniper & Ivy in San Diego, his first West Coast restaurant that offers refined American food with a "left coast edge."
Top Chef 
Blais appeared as a contestant on the fourth season of Bravo's Top Chef. He went on to become the runner-up, losing to Stephanie Izard. In August 2009, Blais appeared on Bravo's spin off, Top Chef Masters, assisting eventual winner Rick Bayless.
In 2010, he competed in Top Chef: All-Stars. He won the competition, earning the title of "Top Chef" by defeating Mike Isabella in the season finale, which aired on March 30, 2011.
In 2012, Blais was one of the featured participants on the show Life After Top Chef. In 2014, Blais competed on Top Chef Duels, and will also appear as a judge on Top Chef Boston in 2014-2015.
Other television appearances
Blais has appeared several times on the show Iron Chef America, once on the "Battle Chickpea" episode with Top Chef: Las Vegas contestant Eli Kirshtein as his sous chef and several times as a sous chef for Iron Chef Cat Cora.
Blais has appeared continuously throughout several seasons as a judge on "Guy's Grocery Games" hosted by celebrity chef Guy Fieri.
He hosted the cooking competition show "Cook Your Ass Off," in which chef contestants tried to transform unhealthy dishes into more nutritious, gourmet options.
Blais is also a frequent contributor on The Rachael Ray Show, and will soon be the host of The Food Network's new show, "The Hungry Games."
Richard Blais runs three restaurants:
- FLIP Burger Boutique - A burger-focused restaurant with three locations in Atlanta, one in Birmingham, and a brand new location in Nashville, Tennessee.
- The Spence - A joint venture with Concentrics Restaurants that opened in Atlanta on May 26, 2012.
Blais now resides in Southern California with his family. He has run two NYC marathons, and will run the third in November 2014.
In July 2011, Blais signed a cookbook deal with Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House. The book, "Try This at Home: Recipes from My Head to Your Plate," was released on February 26, 2013.
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.
- Official website
- Richard Blais's company
- Bravo TV biography
- Food & Wine interview
- Chefs Gone Wild
- The Spence
- Juniper & Ivy