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Richard Blais
Blais in 2011
Born (1972-02-12) February 12, 1972 (age 51)
EducationThe Culinary Institute of America
Culinary career
Current restaurant(s)
  • Four Flamingos (Orlando)
    Juniper & Ivy (San Diego)
    The Crack Shack (3 locations)
    California English (San Diego)
Television show(s)

Richard Blais (born February 12, 1972) is an American chef, television personality, restaurateur, and author. He appeared on the reality show cooking show Top Chef,[1] and is known for his take on classic American cuisine. Blais was the runner-up for the fourth season of Top Chef and returned several seasons later to win Top Chef: All-Stars.

Education and early career

Blais was born in Uniondale, New York.[2] He was adopted by his stepfather in the second grade.[3] Blais' first cooking job was in a McDonald's on Long Island, where he learned the basics of working in a kitchen.[3] After moving on to a couple of upscale restaurants while in college,[4] he received the 2-year AOS in culinary arts from The Culinary Institute of America.[4] After graduation, he was invited to complete a fellowship in the fish kitchen.[4] He has studied under chefs Thomas Keller at The French Laundry,[2] Daniel Boulud, and Ferran Adrià.[4] He also trained at restaurants Chez Panisse and elBulli.[2]


A native New Yorker, Blais relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, in 2000 to run his own restaurant called Fishbone.[5] Initially, he was unimpressed with traditionally Southern ingredients but found ways to elevate them in his own style.[5] He has founded Trail Blais, a culinary company that seeks to perform consulting, design, and operational services in Atlanta eateries.

In July 2011, Blais signed a cookbook deal with Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House. On February 26, he released his debut cookbook, Try This at Home: Recipes From My Head to Your Plate, a cookbook for home cooks to reinvent classic dishes.[5] Try This at Home was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award 2014 in the category of Cookbook: General Cooking. Blais later opened Juniper & Ivy with Michael Rosen in San Diego, California, his first West Coast venture, where he showcases his approach to California cuisine. He and Michael most recently opened Crack Shack, a fine-casual fried chicken concept with multiple locations in Southern California and Las Vegas.[1]

On May 16, 2017, Blais released his second cookbook, So Good: 100 Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours, which features 100 elevated traditional recipes designed for the home cook.

Also in 2017, Blais began hosting a weekly podcast about the culinary industry called Starving For Attention.[6]

In 2020, Blais and iHeartRadio launched the game-show-style podcast "Food Court with Richard Blais", which features guests including celebrity chefs, actors, writers, comedians, and other podcasters debating classic food arguments.

Top Chef

Richard Blais

Blais appeared as a contestant on the 4th season of Bravo's Top Chef. He was the runner up, losing to Stephanie Izard.[7] In 2010, he competed in Top Chef: All-Stars and won the competition, earning the title of "Top Chef" by defeating Mike Isabella in the season finale, which aired on March 30, 2011. He was a recurring judge in seasons 12 and 13 and on Season 18, Top Chef: Portland.

Other television appearances

Blais is a regular on the Food Network, with recurring appearances on Guy's Grocery Games as a judge,[2] and as a competitor, and has also hosted Food Network's Hungry Games, and Halloween Baking Championship. He competed in the second Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage tournament on November 4, 2015, winning his preliminary match and advancing to the finals; he had been a recurring judge on that series since season 12. He also has a recurring role as a judge in the Masterchef and Masterchef Junior franchises. In 2015, Blais was the host of HLN's "Cook Your Ass Off,",[2] a transformational culinary contest that focused on healthy cooking competition. In 2017 he became the host of "Man v. Master,"[1][2] a culinary competition on the FYI Network. Richard has also appeared on various talk shows, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, The Chew, Live! with Kelly and Michael, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Blais had a cameo role in the 2016 feature film, Why Him?, starring James Franco and Bryan Cranston.[1] In 2018, Blais appeared as a guest judge on Sugar Rush.[8] He was most recently a judge on Gordon Ramsay's Next Level Chef.


Blais is currently or has been involved with the following:

Other activities

In November 2011, Blais ran the ING New York City marathon for Alliance for a Healthier Generation.[17] It was his first marathon, and he completed it in 4:31:54.[18] He has since run four other New York City marathons. In November 2017, Blais ran the TCS New York City Marathon for Room to Read.[19]


  1. ^ a b c d Dekker, Nicholas (January 25, 2017). "Eat & Drink preview: Richard Blais of 'Top Chef'". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Blais 2017, p. 13.
  3. ^ a b Blais & Colicchio 2013, p. 10.
  4. ^ a b c d Blais & Colicchio 2013, p. 12.
  5. ^ a b c Blais & Colicchio 2013, p. 13.
  6. ^ "Podcast One Adds 'Starving For Attention With Richard Blais'". All Access. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  7. ^ "Season 4 Bios: Richard Blais". Archived from the original on January 24, 2009. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  8. ^ Sugar Rush - Season 1, Episode 4, retrieved 2019-06-28
  9. ^ "Inside Most Anticipated Juniper & Ivy, Plus a Menu Reveal". Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Restaurant Juniper & Ivy Brings Glamorous Decor to an Industrial Space". Architectural Digest. 2014-05-31. Retrieved 2022-01-25.
  11. ^ "Richard Blais Jumps into Chicken (and Egg) Game With Crack Shack". Eater San Diego. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  12. ^ "FLIP Burger". Flip Burger Boutique. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  13. ^ Kragen, Pam (November 19, 2020). "Chef Richard Blais to helm new restaurant at Park Hyatt Aviara". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  14. ^ Kragen, Pam (January 20, 2021). "Ember & Rye restaurant in Carlsbad, the latest from chef Richard Blais, will embrace classic traditions". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  15. ^ Fuller, Austin. "TV chef Richard Blais' Four Flamingos restaurant opens at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress on Dec. 3". Retrieved 2022-03-30.
  16. ^ "Four Flamingos". Four Flamingos. Retrieved 2022-03-30.
  17. ^ Johnston, Lauren (29 September 2011). "2011 NYC marathon celebrity runners announced! And the runners are ..." Running Dialogue. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  18. ^ Murphy, Jen (25 February 2013). "In Pursuit of Love, Chef Learns to Love Running". Dow Jones & Company, Inc. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  19. ^ Hondorp, Gabrielle (2019-11-03). "Can You Run Faster Than These Celebs at the 2019 NYC Marathon?". Runner's World. Retrieved 2020-12-18.

Works cited