February 19, 1972 |
Uniondale, New York, United States
|Education||The Culinary Institute of America|
Richard Blais (born February 19, 1972) is an American chef, reality show contestant, restaurateur and James Beard-nominated author. He is perhaps most recognizable for his involvement in the reality cooking show Top Chef, and is known for his innovative take on classic American cuisine. He is the host of the Food Network series, Hungry Games.
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. Most recently, Blais opened Juniper & Ivy in San Diego, California, his first West Coast venture.
Top Chef 
Blais went on to become the runner-up, losing to Stephanie Izard. In August 2009, he 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. He appeared as a main judge on Top Chef Boston (season 12) in 2014-15.
Other television appearances
Blais has appeared several times on the show Iron Chef America, and several times as a sous chef for Iron Chef Cat Cora. He is a regular on the Food Network, with recurring appearances on "Guy's Grocery Games" as a judge. Blais has also hosted shows on Food Network: first "Hungry Games" and then "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, where he was eliminated. He has since made three appearances on that series as a guest judge. Blais has appeared in season 7 of MasterChef (U.S. TV series) as a guest judge in episode 16, "Family Drama; Critics Choice".
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 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 two 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.