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Chef Crush:

January 1, 2012

Richard Wear

Flaunt your foodie philosophies on your sleeve (or T) with Chef Richard Blais’ cheeky new t-shirt line

By Nancy Staab

You’ll flip for these fun, food-for-thought culinary tees by the Top Chef: Plus updates on The Spence and Blais’ fall cookbook

Top Chef Richard Blais continues to roll out the projects on all 12 cylinders. Fresh off the fall opening of HD1 (, the Atlanta haute doggery enthusiastically received by the masses and food critics alike, Blais breaks out with a new t-shirt line Tasty Cotton ( As expected, the line encompasses Blais’ famed culinary wit and penchant for puns (recall the punning items on his Flip Burger’s menu like the “bun-mi” or “offaltine” foie gras shake) immortalized on hipster tees!  Blais' way with words also makes him one of the best local tweeters in the Atlanta twitter-verse. Already known for his spunky fashion sense--vintage tees and the once-trademark faux-hawk, this t-shirt line is a natural extension for the Top Chef.

Whether your culinary credo is nose-to-tail, farm-to-fork, molecular gastronomy or you just dig all things porcine this fashion collection will, well, fit you like a T.  Other t-shirt designs in the line celebrate sweet breads, offal, pho, LN2 liquid nitrogen, umami and street food trucks.  Behind-the-line sous chefs, sauciers, dishwashers and other industry types, as well as gourmet bloggers and plain old foodie fans will fall for these witty tees. And we just love a chef who can poke fun of himself:  there’s even a Blaisian tee for the hardcore Top Chef fan. The definition of "Baisian"  is emblazoned on the shirt: i.e. “any individual possessing a fixation towards liquid nitrogen, sous vide or faux hawks.”

The shirts are manufactured by American Apparel and are a bargain $24.99 a piece. You can even win a free one if your slogan becomes a future design.

And if this weren’t enough on Blais’ full plate, he’s also getting ready to open a major eatery, The Spence, with Concentrics Restaurants and The Johnson Studio this spring. In a recent interview with the Bay Area NBC station, Blais revealed that he hopes it will be a date night and  regular hang out place with items like “bone-in Salisbury steak, ducks and lambs, a salad with some dates maybe, black garlic spaghetti, Dover sole and English muffins” on the menu.”

Perhaps some of the Spence’s dishes will be incorporated into Blais’ cookbook out this fall by Clarkson Potter. But if you are expecting fancy liquid-nitrogen and sous vide recipes, think again. Instead, according to the chef, the recipes, while perhaps slightly “quirky,” will be more about simple, fast, home cooking like roast chicken--- without the requirement of expensive chef toys. However, rumor has it the book will be published in traditional print and in a digital version. That Blais, always blaising trails...


For more information visit: , www.hd1restaurant.com