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August 23, 2012

Head Games with Richard Blais

It’s Off with Your Head if You Don’t Buy Chef Blais’ Upcoming Cookbook!

By Nancy Staab

Leave it to one of Atlanta’s most out-of-the-box chefs (with a black sense of humor) to turn the conventional cookbook cover on its head

The cover of chef Richard Blais' new cookbook out Feb. 26 The cover of chef Richard Blais' new cookbook out Feb. 26

















Earlier this week Richard Blais tweeted, and LuxeCrush re-tweeted, the Bravo Top Chef’s daring cookbook cover featuring the impish chef with his own signature spiked-hair head on a plate! We can’t get enough of this mischievous image, which suits Blais’ cutting edge sense of humor and avant-garde culinary techniques. Blais’ first cookbook Try This at Home ( from Clarkson Potter—the same publishers behind Hugh Acheson’s James Beard-winning cookbook) is not out until Feb. 26, 2013, but you can already pre-order it on Amazon for $24.30.

What to expect? There’s a foreword by Craft chef and fellow Top Chef alum Tom Colicchio and 288 pages of Blais’ inventive recipes. But if you’re anticipating loads of liquid nitrogen-fueled molecular gastronomy (Blais did a stint at El Bulli) think again.Instead, these recipes, while perhaps slightly “quirky,” will be more about simple, fast, home cooking like a classic roast chicken—no expensive chef toys or brandishing of a sous vide immersion circulator required.  The recipes may be somewhat traditional, well, as traditional as Blais can get, but the delivery is not. Rumor has it the book will be published in both a print and digital versions. That Blais, always the trail-blaiser!

What’s up next for Blais? Fresh off the resounding success of his innovative new Atlanta eatery The Spence, where dishes like the bone marrow with hamachi tartare and fried quail eggs are garnering raves, Blais will soon get more TV time with the upcoming Bravo Series Life After Top Chef, featuring him and three other Top Chef alums, including the Machiavellian Spike and dreamy Fabio.


A link to LuxeCrush’s earlier profile of Blais and his haute dog hotspot HD1:


While you wait your next Blais Reality TV fix, here is a sample from a recent Facebook interview Blais conducted with Food and Wine magazine, discussing how he would revamp McDonald's Fillet O'Fish and the killer chef knives in his aresenal


Question: How can I learn to be a better cook without breaking the bank?

Richard Blais: It's all about technique. There's no discrimination among ingredients! Cauliflower is as luxurious as foie gras and truffles. Just use good technique.


Question: Chef — what is the most inspirational cookbook you own?

Richard Blais: Gabrielle Hamilton's Blood, Bones & Butter. I have this on iPad and I am in the second reading of it!


Question: Hey Chef! What is the most exotic ingredient you've worked with and what did you make with it?

Richard Blais: Lately, dragon fruit has been in play a lot and I'm using it in cocktails. I was just in China and brought back many ideas for a variety of ingredients that I'm eager to cook with!


Question: Chef Blais... I'm in the market for new kitchen knives. What would you recommend as far as brand and style of knife?

Richard Blais: I have some MAC's at home but if you are very serious check out! That's where I get my "battle" gear.


Question: Chef Blais, What's your favorite McDonald's menu item or what new item would you add if you were back in their kitchen for a day?

Richard Blais: I love the Filet-O-Fish and you can't go wrong with a Big Mac. If I was in the kitchen for a day, I'd upgrade the Filet-O-Fish, change the batter to make it crispier, add some pickles and a shot of lemon!