2012 Atlanta Rising Star Chef Richard Blais had his first taste of culinary deconstruction at McDonald’s, serving the Filet-O-Fish sandwich without its top bun (an improvement, he was certain). Although it was a small step for the fast food poissonier, it was part of the path that would eventually lead him to victory on Bravo’s “Top Chef: All Stars” and ultimately to founding his own innovative culinary consultancy company.
Not that it was quick journey from the golden arches to nationwide exposure. Blais’ developing passion for food led him to The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where he spent time between semesters at The French Laundry alongside then rising-stars Grant Achatz and Eric Ziebold. Upon graduating from the CIA in 1998, Blais ventured to New York to work with Chef Daniel Boulud at his renowned flagship, Daniel. His professional compass pointed him to yet another culinary luminary for a brief stage at El Bulli with Ferran Adrià.
In 2000, Blais relocated to Atlanta to oversee a local seafood concept before opening BLAIS. The chef’s creative approach to cooking and cuisine at BLAIS led him to found Trail Blais, a forward-thinking culinary company that has consulted on, designed, and operated some of Atlanta’s most popular eateries, including multiple outposts of Flip Burger, HD1, and recently opened The Spence. Beyond his Top-Chefdom, Blais has appeared on the Food Network, Discovery Science, and CNN, as well as in numerous publications including The New York Times, InStyle, and Food & Wine.