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Richard Blais Makes His Claim as a Top Chef

by Olivia DeWolfe
CulinaryEd Columnist
February 21, 2011

Top Chef Richard Blais Famous for his cooking techniques, sense of humor and integration of global ingredients, Chef Blais is not only a great chef but a recipient of Gayot Guide's "Top Five Rising Chefs of 2005," a sought-after culinary designer and a television star on Bravo TV, the Food Network and CNN's Eatocracy.

A resident of Atlanta, Georgia, Blais started his culinary career at McDonald's, a piece of his history he claims with both pride and humor. His formal culinary arts education began at the Culinary Institute of America, followed by an internship at French Laundry under Thomas Keller. After graduating, he accepted a yearlong fellowship teaching fish fabrication and cookery at the culinary school while simultaneously working on a self-sustaining farm.

Blais soon found work with Daniel Boulud at Restaurant Daniel and Ferran Adria at El Bulli in Spain. After running a small seafood kitchen in Atlanta for four years, Blais opened BLAIS in 2004 where he received critical acclaim. Blais also started Trail Blais, a culinary company that consults on, designs and operates three and four star restaurants in his home town of Atlanta as well as performs product development and endorsement for several major corporations.

Blais was invited to be on a panel of chefs, food bloggers and culinarians for the McCormick Flavor Forecast 2010 to speculate on the flavor combinations that could dominate the culinary scene in 2011. Some of the flavor pairings and trends the panel predicted were roasted ginger and rhubarb, Thai basil and watermelon, and caraway and bitter greens.

Whether it's his beet champagne, naked oyster with lemon sorbet and cucumber sauce or Buffalo-style sweetbreads, Blais has rightly earned his reputation for his innovation with culinary classics.

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