Rising Star Chef Richard Blais of Juniper and Ivy - Biography

San Diego, CA

September 2017

Richard Blais got his start behind the fish station at McDonald’s. This McSkillset combined with his seemingly inborn inquisitiveness led Blais to The Culinary Institute of America. From there, the native New Yorker went on to cut his teeth at The French Laundry, Daniel, Chez Panisse, and elBulli.

Seasoned with tradition and technique, and hungry to do more, Blais headed to Atlanta in 2000. He briefly oversaw a local seafood joint before opening BLAIS, and eventually, the consultancy group Trail Blais, which concepted a number of the city’s most popular restaurants (and earned Blais StarChefs Rising Star Concept Award in 2012).

Blais is perhaps most recognizable for his appearances on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” He walked away as runner up during its fourth season. Later, his imaginative approach helped crown him winner of “Top Chef: All-Stars,” for which he eventually became a judge. Blais has also appeared on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America,” and hosted Home Living Network’s “Cook Your Ass Off.” 

Following his reality-TV stardom, Blais went on to open multiple restaurants—some honoring his fast-casual roots. He’s currently operating Flip Burger Boutique (with locations in the Southeast), Juniper & Ivy in San Diego, and the fried chicken and eggs concept The Crack Shack (outlets in SoCal). Blais’ 2013 cookbook Try This at Home received a James Beard nomination, and his 2017 work, So Good, features recipes he has collected from a life in the kitchen—on and off the airwaves.