Richard Blais, local culinary whiz-kid, defeated runner-up Mike Isabella to take the winning slot on Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars.
It had to have been a sweet moment for Blais, who came in second four years ago in Top Chef’s fourth season. And it was a sweet moment for me, as well, because I like Blais and his food.
First of all, Blais is a Long Island kid - from Uniondale, just down the road from where I grew up. (Contrary to the intro on the Top Chef finale, Blais is not a native of Atlanta... just a resident.)
Second, he’s a big fan of duck fat.
Third, he likes to play with exotic materials. Nothing enlivens a kitchen quite like having a huge Dewar flask of liquid nitrogen, which pretty much flash-freezes everything it touches... and where you find Blais, you will find the liquid N2.
Fourth, he’s local. His latest ventures, a couple of hamburger joints, have redefined the Burger Experience for adventurous Atlantans. Where else can you find foie gras and Krispy Kreme doughnut milkshakes made with liquid nitrogen... or burgers made with beef short rib meat and hanger steak?
And, as do the best chefs, he finds time to hang out with his customers...
Elisson (in his chubbier days) enjoys a Foie Gras Milkshake as chef Richard Blais looks on.