"It's hard to resist a smoky grilleven if you cook your meat or vegetables sous vide first." That quote says a lot about Richard Blais, the winner of Top Chef All-Stars. As the owner of Atlanta's growing Flip burger chain, he's adept at grilling; as a modernist chef, he loves using sous vide, and especially liquid nitrogen, to create complicated dishes. The question from F&W: Could Blais create low-tech side dishes to accompany grilled meat and fish, using no more than five ingredients?
Spoiler alert: Most of the time, he couldn't.
- Top Chef
- The Double Life of Bravo's New Top Chef
- Top Chef: Healthy Cooking
- Behind the Scenes at Top Chef
- Interview with Richard Blais
- Top Chef Season 8: All-Stars Season
- Top Chef Wine Challenge
- Hung Huynh
- Bravo's Top Chef Cooks for Love
- Top Chef Host Padma’s Indian Cooking
- Top Chef 4: Chicago
This should come as a surprise to no one. The chef, a married father of two who was born and raised in Long Island, New York, started experimenting with food as a 14-year-old cook at McDonald's, serving Filet-O-Fish sandwiches "topless." After attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, he worked at places like Napa Valley's French Laundry and apprenticed at El Bulli in Spain. Those experiences informed his harder-is-better philosophy. For his favorite Top Chef challenge, which took place in the Bahamas, Blais prepared a version of linguine with clam sauce using sweet-potato noodles he painstakingly made by hand and conch he dove for himself. "I loved divingor whatever you'd call what I was doingto get that conch," he says.