Monday, August 25, 2008

A Mighty Quest

Recently, I had a young student tell me he wanted to be a molecular gastronomist. Now the problem was he was in culinary school and not Georgia Tech.

It’s tough to really express myself about this subject. I certainly get put in the molecular camp, and it’s true to a certain degree, but we now are exporting class after class of young chefs who may not understand that making hollandaise IS molecular gastronomy. Furthermore, that the science they are so eager to study is already being taught to them, and in the worst case, is being dismissed as traditional, boring, and well, not cool.

When I was a much younger cook, I just wanted to be French!

And in trying to be so, I stumbled upon things like chlorophyll, produced from juiced spinach. It’s these things, like the discovery of process during cooking that define what most so called “molecular gastronomists” are actually doing.

We’re being observant and curious cooks, in a pursuit of flavor...


Upcoming appearances

Aug 31st @ McCrady’s with chef Sean Brock, Charleston, SC

Sept 11-13 @ Museum of Science and Histroy, Jacksonville, FLA

Sept 14 @ Star Chefs Conference, NYC, NY

Sept 15 @ New York City, NY, Astor Center

Sept 20 @ Tampa, FLA, site TBD, Top Chef Tour

Sept 24 @ Orlando, FLA, Universal Studios. Top Chef Tour

Sept 27 @ Atlanta, GA, Top Chef Tour, site TBD

Sept 28 @ Atlanta, GA, Gwinett Center, Atlanta Home Show

Sept 29 @ Atlanta, GA, Top Chef Tour, site TBD

Sept 30 @ Los Angeles, CA, site TBD

Oct 1 @ Los Angeles, CA, site TBD

Thursday, August 21, 2008

More Popcorn!

Richard Blais on CW 11 Morning News

video

West Coast Stomping, Part 2

Back from Los Angeles today and feeling quite exhausted from 2
consecutive tour stops, and a little too much entertaining.

But first, I was stopped in the airport in ATL. That happens, and it
seemed pretty standard…

Them: " I loved you on the show, you were great"

Me: “Thanks!”

Them: " I really loved you on American Idol"

Yikes !!!!! Of course I just said thanks, I mean it's a popular show.

I worked two tour days. The first day with Brian Malarkey from Season 3 and the second day with Antonia Lofaso, my cast mate in Season 4.
We batted it back and forth and really gave a good show on both days. This was the
first stop where I really brought out the toys. Equipped with a
little, OK, a lot of liquid nitrogen and immersion circulators, I
really ramped it up.... I mean it's Hollywood right?

Now here's the thing.... Being ON STAGE all the time is tough. I don't
mean physically on stage, but knowing that everyone you meet, or who
recognizes you walks away with an impression makes you really want to
validate yourself, your performance, your personal character. I've
never not given any supporter or fan everything I have even if it's
only for 2 minutes in passing. It's important. We (Top Chef, quasi
celebrity, e- listers, whatever ) really need to validate the
integrity of what we do. It's a responsibility. But this trip grinded
on me, and for the first time I just wanted to throw on a baseball cap
and some sun glasses, maybe even a fake beard, and just chill out for
a bit, alone...

But I was also doing some business in Laguna Beach, so for really 3
days straight I just really needed to push and be “on”. I love Laguna Beach, what
a place, really gorgeous, like post card beautiful. I got the tour
from my new friends Monica and Brad, had a great meal, even better
conversation, and I hope to be seeing a lot more of Orange County, and
next time with Jazmin and baby Riley.

I'm typing this on my flight back now, in a Dodgers cap.... no beard )

And I am exhausted.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

West Coast Stomping, Part 1

For Part One of my trip to LA hop over to Bravotv.com

http://www.bravotv.com/Top_Chef/season/4/blogs/index.php?blog=top_chef_the_tour&article=2008/08/richard_blais_los_angeles

Oooo Buuurn!


Antonia Lofaso's (http://www.bravotv.com/Top_Chef/season/4/bios/index.php?cat=chef&p=antonia ) liquid nitrogen burn (on her foot) from our last tour stop in LA. I've seen better!
More to come on my trip to the West Coast.....

Thursday, August 7, 2008

HOME

Back HOME, literally, the restaurant is coasting at a good pace. My chef Jef Wright seems like he's starting to hit his stride, and the feedback, and business is very good. Unfortunately not good enough for all, as I can start to feel the slightest bit of pressure from my "touring" lately. We will try to ride it out and see if there really is an understanding in place, we'll see.

In other news, again literally, we shot 2 pieces for the local CBS affiliate that air this week http://www.cbs46.com/video/17108066/
http://www.cbs46.com/video/17066755/
we shot some video for a food website, www.Eatdrinkordie.com , and did a few print pieces and 1 radio show. It's crazytown son !!!

so I am off to LA for another tour stop, with a new Macbook, and the coolest gadget since the immersion circulator......... The I-phone....I have now joined the rest of humanity!

The Misadventures of Markus Cannon

I'm back from Jamaica from my participation in RTI. RTI is similar to Spring Break in Jamaica. Although my spring break experience is limited, I don't think our version would stand a chance in a competition.

What a trip! Since I am from New York and have a best friend that is Jamaican, I'm into dancehall reggae music and I would say that is a prerequisite to have fun down there (at least it helps). I brought Mark Nanna, now officially recognized in the Jamaican media as Mark Cannon, and since renamed Markus Cannon by me (http://jahkno.com/party-reviews/daydreams-was-more-than-all-white-for-rti ). This is my second trip to JA with Marco, and my third trip in the calendar year working with Red Stripe beer on innovation and events.

Our work had us running a molecular mixology bar at 4 of the main parties over the weekend. We learned many lessons from cooking / mixing for thousands of people at a time.

Mainly, it's as close to chaos, a good chaos mind you, that you'll want to get to.

And we hope we get invited back next year!

“Big Up” to Donette for handling us, and Safia for putting up with my relentless e-mails and text messages.

One of the featured drinks...

"My Thai"
some good jamaican rum (Not Appleton, as they are Red Stripes mortal brand enemy!)
mashed up cilantro, thai basil, lemongrass, ginger, mint
double the rum with a lime punch
and finish by floating some red stripe beer, ginger beer, or citrus soda
and if you have it, a swirl of some liquid nitrogen



As I thought about the events on the trip home, and how many people were at each one, I was really left with a very cool feeling about Jamaican people. I mean I didn't see one fight, one almost fight, nothing. And I can't even imagine the last concert or house party I was at that didn't produce some drama. The closest thing to a fight was Mark and I arguing over whether or not to go to an after party....... I won....... we didn't.


And BTW, the resort we were booked at was a nude resort. However, I couldn't convince Mark to trot down to the beach in only flip flops. You don’t get to do that often, I thought it would be fun.

Items left at hotel : a tee shirt and a pair of grey socks.