February 19, 1972 |
Uniondale, New York, United States
|Education||The Culinary Institute of America|
Richard Blais (born February 19, 1972) is an American chef, television personality, restaurateur and James Beard-nominated author. He is perhaps most recognizable for his win on the reality cooking show Top Chef, and is known for his innovative 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 and has been a recurring judge in season 12 (Boston) and Season 13 (California).
Education and early career
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A native New Yorker, Blais relocated to Atlanta, GA 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 FLIP Burger Boutique, which now has numerous locations in Atlanta, Nashville, and Alabama.
In February 2013, he 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 category of Cookbook: General Cooking. Blais later opened Juniper & Ivy in San Diego, California, his first West Coast venture, where he showcases an innovative approach to California cuisine. He most recently opened Crack Shack, a fried chicken fine-casual concept, where he serves up an elevated take on fried chicken sandwiches, salads, sides and more. Crack Shack has multiple locations in San Diego, Encinitas, Orange County and soon, Los Angeles.
Top Chef 
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 appeared as a main judge on Top Chef Boston (season 12) in 2014-15.
Other television appearances
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". Blais competed in the second Cutthroat Kitchen Superstar Sabotage tournament on November 4, 2015, winning his preliminary match and advancing to the finals, and has been a recurring judge on that series since season 12. He also has a recurring role as judge in the Master Chef and Master Chef Jr. series, as well as on Bravo's Top Chef.
In 2015, Blais was the host of HLN's "Cook Your Ass Off," a transformational culinary contest that focused on healthy cooking competition. This year, Blais will be the host of the forthcoming "Man v. Master," a new culinary competition on the FYI Network. Richard has also appeared on The TODAY Show, Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, The Chew, Live! with Kelly and Michael, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and more.
In 2016, Blais had a role in the feature film, "Why Him," starring James Franco and Bryan Cranston.
Currently, 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.
- 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 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".
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 and received a James Beard Award nomination for the 2014 James Beard Awards.
In May 2017, Blais will release his second cookbook, "So Good," (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; May 16, 2017) which features 100 elevated, home-friendly recipes perfect for the home cook.
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.
- BravoTV.com. "Bravo TV Top Chef Bio".
- Bravotv.com. "Season 4 Bios: Richard Blais". Retrieved June 1, 2015.
- "Flip burger boutique". Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- 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.
- 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.