I took Riley to school. She goes to an amazing co-op pre-school where they garden, and raise chickens, and today, made a good warm applesauce. I took multiple phone calls with my manager, and agent, and publicist, and chefs. And after I picked Riley back up from school, spent the rest of the day at The Spence. Lee Anne Wong and Eli Kirshtein both came in (Top Chef alums), and we cooked and danced the night away. OK -- there was no dancing. I left after the push of service because, see above, I am spending no time with my wife. I get home and we watch Homeland, which we are all into at the moment. I have another flight early a.m. Friday, so it's tough.
I'm out the door early again. Riley's just waking up, so at least I see her awake for 30 seconds. At the airport in Atlanta, the plane I board has a mechanical problem, so 3.5 hours later I'm on a different plane. At least the delay helps me to start this blog. I spend the toggle between writing and sending texts to my different chefs and, of course, Jazmin. I was planning to get to Austin early enough to run a few hours, but the delay has ruined that. I'm grumpy. I'm in Austin for a gala benefit for LiveWtrong. I was asked to design a course and invite some Top Chef friends to participate. I asked Antonia Lofaso, Angelo Sosa, and Paul Qui. I also asked Carla Hall, but she was unavailable. Besides donating the recipes, I'm speaking for a few seconds about the food and also introducing Stephen Marley, reggae royalty. Yes, son of Bob Marley. when I arrive at the gala, I'm a bit surprised. It is a huge event with 2,000 people attending and many A-list celebrities including Sean Penn, Robin Williams, Matthew McCaunaghey, Ben Stiller, and, of course, Lance Armstrong. Antonia was sick and couldn't make it, so I say a few words for her. As I sit through the powerful night, filled with stories of cancer survivors, it strikes me that I need to do much more philanthropically. I'm a little Z-list celebrity, but I can reach many people and I want to make this a priority in my life. I go on stage after Norah Jones and introduce Stephen Marley. I wing it. There was a script, but I'm not much for it. Hopefully it went well! As I'm watching Robin Williams do his thing from about 15 yards away, I wish Jazmin was here. And I also think about how ridiculously lucky I am. First, because I'm healthy and my family is healthy, but also because I'm just a cook, how did I get to sit at this table...?
After the gala, Angelo and myself head back to the hotel, the hotel San Jose BTW. It's adorable. We are both exhausted. Angelo made the commencement speech at the CIA in Hyde Park New York this morning, and he came all the way here to do this with me. I've said before Angelo is a gifted chef, but he also is a guy I can talk to. I don't have to clown around with Angelo, or engage in endless snark and shenanigans like some of my other Top Chef friends. We can have a burger and a beer and just be two dudes hanging out. And we do that. Kind of. I don't drink, but you get the point.
Back at the hotel I'm still wired from the gala so I take a bath, and eat mini bar tortilla chips and canned salsa... in the bath. I try to sleep, but can't. I just sit in bed in a dark room. My eyeballs hurt, which is weird, and I think that I could really use a full day of sleep...
Let me start by saying I'm a huge fan as in I cried when you won Top Chef: All Stars (a bit ridiculous yes but I really wanted you to win). Its not really my style to comment on the personal life of someone I don't even know but I digress. Reading this made me exhausted. The thought of doing all that you do in the course of one week is insane. But your post also made me really sad. Of course it's great that you've achieved the success you've dreamed of and you're able to provide more than enough for your family, but it sounds like you need to learn to say no every so often. You don't want to wake up one day seeing you've accomplished so many things and yet you didn't devote enough time to the simple things that you hold so dear: your family. They're invaluable (as you know) and the time you spend with them is precious as is the time you devote to your passion of cooking. But the balance between the two is key. I think the public will always be here to eat your food and support you as fans regardless of how many events you participate in. So maybe it wouldn't hurt to slow down. You'll thank yourself for it later.
Best of luck!
I worry about You and Fabio on the fast track. How do u really get to enjoy anything. Love u both!
Richard, Watching four chefs is a bit too much. I wish that Bravo would focus their attention on you and Fabio, the other two are just plain and boring. Wish you lots of luck!!!
I was planning to jokingly write you about choosing a gift for your wife, being a wife and mother myself, but after reading your blog I just want to say "slow down".
Richard, what in the hell has happened to you? If this is what fame does to a person, I say it's not worth it. Here's an observation from someone who doesn't know you and only sees you through the eyes of a reality tv show (so maybe I'm way off base, but) you seem miserable! Season 4 Richard Blais seemed happy and fun and playful and professional. TCAS Richard Blais was insufferable and I'm afraid I feel the same about LATC. Despite winning All Stars and achieving this so called fame, you seem anxious, jealous and unhappy. What good is all the money and notoriety if it makes you and your family unhappy? There are more important things in life than traveling to a billion places each week and rubbing elbows with Sean Penn. It's sad to see such a decent guy turn in to a needy, bottomless pit. Get off the fame train my friend. It's a train to nowhere. Wishing you the best.
Don't try to play Superman. I get that you're excited and are doing what you feel is best for you and your family. Don't fear that you will lose momentum by taking a time out. It will only make you stronger! Don't miss out on the best of times with your family...they grow too damn fast.
Sounds like you're gone as much as a military man. It takes a very special woman to tend to the home fires while you are away., and it seems like you appreciate everything your wife does. Good for you, enjoy building your future together, just make sure you keep taking those time out moments with the fam.
you need to make time for your wife and daughters or all your hard work will be for nothing. Your a smart guy, figure it out.
I don't know how you do it, Chef. I'm exhausted just from reading about your week. Thank you for fitting this show in, as I love watching it. You and Fabio have always been my favorites and getting to watch more of you both is a joy!