Also, I wanted to express and acknowledge my firm belief that the competition really doesn't begin until your run on Top Chef is over. Winning Top Chef All-Stars was amazing but it wasn't the endgame. Win or lose, what you do with those moments after your appearance are what really count. I am a fan of so many chefs who have appeared on the franchise. I admire so many of them and their accomplishments. Fabio and Spike are masters at creating opportunity. They are good looking, smart businessmen, and not to mention, at this point, friends. (Maybe you saw Spike rocking the "Blaisian" t-shirt I designed for my line at TastyCotton.com). Jen Carroll is the bad ass in the kitchen everyone touts, as well as kind, endearing, and the free spirit we all wish we could be sometimes. And other chefs, not appearing in Life After Top Chef, the Voltaggio brothers, Dale Talde, Angelo Sosa, Mike Isabella, and especially Carla Hall are all accomplishing so much, in so many arenas. It would be dishonest to say I'm not aware of their successes. The restaurants and cookbooks, endorsements and television work. I compete with all of them, in a friendly, professional way, and I hope revealing that is OK with you.
In Life After, in my restaurants, you may see me in uncomfortable positions. The cameras were there when things were flowing smoothly and when things weren't. During one of these moments, I thought for a split second, to just kind of blow over an issue because there were cameras in front of me. But I couldn't. It would be acting, and intentionally misleading, and most of all, bad for my business if I just let things slide for the camera. So you will see my business for what it is and I'm happy about that for the sake of authenticity. You will see interactions with business partners, old and new. My discomfort dealing with suits and financiers, controllers and CFOs. Interactions with newbie cooks, who can't, and veteran chefs who have been with me for years. And the simple fact, that my work, or dare I say, brand, relies on so many other people who do so much for me. And unlike in the confines of Top Chef, I can not possibly be in control of it all.
Sometimes my world spins out of control, even if it's just in my own nerdy, little self-deprecating, nervous head, and I hope you enjoy it. . .
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