As a judge on Bravo's Top Chef (and former All-Stars winner), James Beard-nominated cookbook author, famed restaurateur, and budding Hollywood actor (okay, that last one may be a bit of a stretch), there's no doubt that Richard Blais is bringing in the bacon. Ironically, it's the non-metaphorical, pork-derived bacon that Blais wants absolutely less of.
"I'm over the bacon craze," he says. "It doesn't make everything better."
Crediting his culinary beginnings to working as a McDonald's poissonier (a.k.a. Filet-o-Fish maker), the born and bred New Yorker has built an empire under the simple notion that people just want to eat delicious food. And consistently delicious food is what Blais delivers.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Blais went on to study under kitchen legends like Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, and Ferran Adrià to gather the experience and training necessary to fine tune his craft and open critically-acclaimed Juniper & Ivy in San Diego. After years of success, including a monumental Top Chef All-Stars win, it's safe to say that Blais has lived up to his philosophy of offering cuisine that is not only drool-worthy and innovative, but also accessible and non-pretentious.
We sat down with the hilariously outspoken chef to chat about his past, his tireless work ethic (he'll literally go anywhere to sell books), and the future of his business, including chicken and egg-focused Crack Shack, a "luxury casual" venture that offers Blais's signature food, but in a family-friendly environment.
Check out the video below to get the full scoop on all things Richard, along with three recipes you can find in his newest cookbook, So Good.
Spaghetti and Bone Marrownara Meatballs
Tuna Tataki with Heirloom Tomato Crudo
Our obsession with raw fish knows no bounds and this refreshing blend of tuna, tomatoes, and avocado is exactly what the doctor ordered. And by doctor, we mean summer. Get the recipe.
Barbecued Lamb's Head Carnitas with Masa
You'll need to be a bit adventurous to cook this one, but Blais breaks it down in a way that's approachable and easy. Who knew that lamb's head would ever make its way into your rotating list of dinner recipes? Get the recipe.