Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Interview with Richard Blais

Here, ladies and gentlemen, is the long-awaited interview with Richard Blais, my choice for Top Chef Chicago! Thanks, Richard, for so graciously offering to answer my questions, and for your time.

theminx: You were so close to winning it all. You were definitely my favorite! What are your feelings about the competition? Was it a worthwhile experience? Would you do it again?

RB: The show was a great experience. When faced with the opportunity in the beginning you tell yourself you dont want to go early, then make it half way, then the finals, then the final challenge, etc. So although not taking home top honors sucked, the fact is the goal is to expose yourself and your talent and make things happen from there. I consider that I got the chicken and not the egg. But I'll make a few eggs now....

theminx: How nerve-wracking was it to be in Puerto Rico when your wife was so close to giving birth? You didn't seem to want to be there, certainly not to party.

RB: My wife was a few days away from due date, so yes it was on my mind, we had an emergency evacuation plan in place, and everyone on production was very understanding of my situation. I was never there to party, not in chicago or PR. And I don't dance, well, so shaking it up in front of 3 million wasnt going to happen.

theminx: Dish some dirt about the other Top Chefs. Who did you get along with best? Who was the most annoying? Who had the worst hygiene? Was Lisa as ill-tempered as the editing led viewers to believe? Will you stay in contact with any of the other chefs?

RB: Everyone was very cool, and I consider myself quite universal so no one really irritated me, including Lisa. She is a glass half empty personality, but shes not a bad person.... I'll stay in contact with a few of them I'm sure, it's like high school, you graduate and talk of staying together, and some relationships dissolve, and some stay tight. I was hanging out with Dale last night. I just called Spike a few minutes ago....

theminx: We're aware that Bravo takes some creative license with the editing to maximize the drama. Do you feel that you were misrepresented in any way in the program?

RB: Possibly, I got the nice guy edit, and my staff might not agree with that! but I'd say the production and editing do a very good job representing the true story....

theminx: What are your future plans and do any of them involve television?

RB: Well, I have a ton going on right now. I am running a restaurant, HOME, in Atlanta, which just recieved 4 stars from the main publication. I am consulting on a modern hamburger restaurant, FLIP, to open in the fall and soon have multiple locations in multiple cities. I do a ton of product development through Trail-Blais, which is my ideation company which is taking me to 5 cities and 3 countries over the next month, and yes, I am currently shopping a television program, or 2. The television deal is very big to me, as I really enjoy the work, and I'm amazed at how deep the reach of the media is. To think I have people calling and asking for beef flavored tofu and bacon ice cream is un real, and I think that continued exposure of creative cooking can really change the food world for good.... and I'd love to give it a go and get people thinking more about food, and having fun with it.