Richard Blais

Richard Blais urges the chefs to use their backgrounds and histories in their cooking. It just might help them win.

on Jan 9, 2009

Hosea and Leah? They are on their way to a Bravo spin-off show if they keep up the romance. Leah seems a bit less aggressive lately -- is it due to this blossoming relationship? Hosea's too nice. Nice guys choke. (smirk)

Rhadika has the cultural background to deliver some exciting flavors. She consistently points out that she doesn't want to be the Indian girl who only cooks Indian food. Bad call here.

I'm not an expert in Indian cuisine, but I don't think she's doing super traditional stuff, even when she sways into her culture's cuisine. She needs to keep on that road if she's going to get to the end. Remember Hung? The judges wanted to know about him. They wanted to know what made him, well, him. It wasn't the French training -- that's what made him a good cook. His culture, his life, his upbringing. That is what turns a good cook into a chef.

When I left the French Laundry I knew I was a chef. It was very clear to me. I went back home and worked for Daniel, and then years later got my first head chef position. For that first year, I instinctively cooked what I had learned. Torchon, butter poached lobster, tight canapes, reduced vegetable juice, butter it out. Baste you fish, rest your meat, cook your veggies in water that tastes like the ocean. Truffles, foie gras, caviar. Yada, yada, yada. It wasn't me. It was my training.

Yes, Blais is a French name, but I'm not. I was adopted. Long story.