At the Food & Wine Classic last weekend in Aspen, I attended a lunch that was hosted by Stella Artois and cooked by Top Chef All-Stars champ Richard Blais. One of the best dishes was the final course: crispy veal cutlets with pickled cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and buttermilk dressing. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the tender, succulent veal, which is a cut of meat that comes from younger cows. While I eat lamb all the time, I rarely eat veal, but after tasting Blais's cutlets, I might start ordering it more. They were awesome! How about you?
Top Chef All-Stars champ Richard Blais was the guest of honor earlier this week at an event in NYC hosted by the National Pork Board called, "Pork: Be Inspired." He concocted a few pork-based recipes for the assembled reporters, including a delicious ham and herb schnitzel with a 6-minute egg — check out that recipe below.
He narrated the process of making the dishes, adding some of his trademark quips like, "Is it weird if I say there is something romantic about a piece of meat basted in its own juices?" Richard also emphasized that he wishes people would just get over their fear of burning pork when they're cooking. I managed to snag a minute with Richard after the demo, and he chatted about how he celebrated with his wife after his big win (a low key dinner at the Big Apple's Blue Ribbon), further sharing about his favorite Spring picnic dish, joining the Top Chef tour, and what's next. He said:
- On his favorite dish for a picnic: Right now for spring, I just did something with asparagus
so whether it's asparagus or artichokes and mayonnaise and some lemon and some toast. Some olive oil. It sounds like simple stuff, but that's what I like to eat in the Spring and Summer."
- On joining the Top Chef tour: "I'm doing some of the tour dates yeah, I'm not sure what cities I'll end up in. It'll be my fourth year on the tour, and if you get a chance, whatever city you're in to come out and see it, it's a lot of fun. This year we're adding a competitive element to it where the contestants are going to be competing again in front of the tour audiences.
- On what's next for him: "I'm opening a few restaurants in the Southeast, but as a native New Yorker and someone who loves big cities I would love to get a project going in major A-List city. But nothing to report just yet."
To see Richard's recipe for ham and herb schnitzel with a 6-minute egg, just read more
- The complete guide to ribs of the world.
- The complete guide to ribs of the world. — Serious Eats
- Richard Blais chats about his Top Chef All-Stars victory. — Eatocracy
- Would you eat these super spicy dishes? — Woman's Day
- Menu prices are on the rise. — Wall Street Journal
- Critic Michael Bauer names the Bay Area's top 100 restaurants. — The San Francisco Chronicle
- Food & Wine's Dana Cowin chats about the chefs who weren't named Best New Chef. — The Feast NY
- How to find and cook with morel mushrooms. — Huffington Post Food
- The next season of Scott Conat's 24-Hour Restaurant Battle debuts on Thursday, April 21. — Grub Street NY
- Paula Deen makes a hysterical appearance on Rachael Ray's daytime talk show. — Eater
- Amazing: a breakfast sandwich with a runny egg surprise inside. — Chez Us
Who better to cover the last episode of Top Chef All-Stars than former cheftestant (and contender from this season!) Fabio Viviani? Chef, take it away!
It's over!! I mean almost. The finale is here in the sunny Bahamas, I'd rather today to go water-skiing than get picked and help my two brothers (hey, at the end they ARE from a different mother), but I'll do my fair share and talk them into NOT picking me, but I promise that if I will I'll give heart and soul. Richard is worry.
Mike want to beat Richie and start some serious physiological warfare, Mike is hilarious and Richard is so worry that he can't even talk back to him.
I laughed my butt off when Mike said, "I hope you lose" in his face and Richard instead of go for the throat and answer "you know Mike? F*ck you, you foul mouth piece of sh*t you can kiss my ass I will win this and then I'll rub it in your face" type of thing, he all calm and worry said, "I hope you lose too." AAWWW Richie! That is the sweetest mean things I ever heard! You such a good guy!!!
The rest of Fabio's humorous recap is after the jump.
We've got the hilarious Fabio Viviani's recap of the Top Chef All-Stars season finale coming up later today, but now, I want to get your opinion of the show. I found it highly entertaining, and although I assumed Richard Blais was going to win, I couldn't help but root for Mike, the underdog.
The food looked amazing (especially Richard's oyster and Mike's pepperoni sauce!) and it was fun to see the cheftestants come together and work under Richard and Mike. I was bummed that my favorite, Jen Carroll, didn't get kitchen time, but it was nice that Jamie Lauren stepped up to the challenge of helping Mike. Did you watch? What did you think of the outcome?
Photo courtesy of Bravo
Tonight is the moment we've all been waiting for: the season finale of Top Chef All-Stars. The battle to see who is the better chef is between TC Chicago's Richard Blais, known for his scientific ways, and TC Vegas's Mike Isabella, who's been taken less seriously but is on a roll. My money is on Richard simply because he seems like the better chef. How about you? Who do you think is going to win?
Photo courtesy of Bravo
- How to shoot the holiday table.
- How to shoot the holiday table. — The New York Times
- Top Chef's all-stars reveal their New Year's resolutions. — The Feast
- Is this the famous recipe to KFC's secret spice blend? — Rachael Ray Blogs
- Watch David Chang, Dan Barber, and Wylie Dufresne lecture at Harvard. — Eater
- Actor Stanley Tucci will host a new wine television show. — Grub Street NY
- 10 must-have iPhone food apps and accessories. — Serious Eats
- Richard Blais on his new sci-fi cooking show, Blais Off. — Eatocracy
- Learn the proper technique for carving ham. — Huffington Post Food
I've been rooting for Top Chef's Richard Blais ever since we interviewed him back in March. Of course, I was psyched that Stephanie won, but Richard definitely wowed me this season with his clever and cheeky approach to cooking.
Watching Wednesday's season finale, I was shocked when Richard told the judges he "choked" in the last challenge. Thankfully, I had the honor of interviewing him again yesterday and got to hear all about what was going through his head. To read what he had to say about the finale, his fauxhawk, and his next restaurant, read more
Earlier I mentioned that Top Chef contestant Richard Blais helmed several restaurants in the past. One of them was his own eponymous Blais, in which there was a 31-course tasting menu. Learn what it was like to eat there, warning, the photos are going to make you drool. — The Amateur Gourmet
Richard Blais is already known in the industry as being innovative and adventurous. He's got a penchant for molecular gastronomy, but he's got the résumé to go with it. He's worked along side Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, and Ferran Adria, plus he's helmed several restaurants including One Midtown Kitchen in Atlanta. And if he looks strangely familiar to you, it might be that he recently battled Mario Batali on Iron Chef America.
So, what should we expect from him? And why would someone with such a fantastic résumé even bother with Top Chef? To find out what he had to say, read more