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Chef / Culinary Designer
Perhaps most recognizable as the winner of Bravo's "Top Chef All-Stars," Richard Blais has played an influential role in hospitality for the last 15 years. He began his career, as so many young aspiring chefs do, as the "poissonier" at McDonald's. It was here where he first dabbled in deconstruction in cuisine, serving "filet-o-fish" sandwiches sans top bun.
His developing passion for food and the service industry led Blais to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. As an ambitious student, he spent time between semesters studying at the French Laundry in Yountville, CA under renowned chef Thomas Keller and alongside then rising-stars Grant Achatz and Eric Ziebold. Upon graduating from the CIA in 1998, Blais ventured to New York for the opportunity to work with Chef Daniel Boulud at his famous flagship, Restaurant Daniel. He followed his professional compass to Roses, Spain and completed a brief stage at El Bulli with culinary wizard Ferran Adria.
In 2000, Blais relocated to Atlanta to oversee a local seafood concept. His wildly creative approach to cooking and cuisine led to the establishment of 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 Boutique and the recently launched Haute Doggery. He will be opening The Spence, a new restaurant concept in Midtown Atlanta, in winter 2012 and his debut cookbook will be published by Clarkson Potter in fall 2012. Blais has appeared on "TODAY Show," "Good Morning America," "Live with Regis & Kelly," and "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," as well as in numerous publications including The New York Times, InStyle and Food & Wine magazine.
Blais resides in Atlanta with his wife, Jazmin, and their two young daughters, Riley and Embry.