Richard Blais is always on the go. When he's not freezing bizarre ingredients with liquid nitrogen, recording episodes of his new podcast, Starving for Attention (guests have included Wylie Dufresne, Gail Simmons, and Duff Goldman), or running his multiple restaurants in California, he's hosting events. These included the one he recently headlined for Santa Margherita wines at Brooklyn Grange, an urban rooftop farm in New York City. Oh, and he wasn't just hosting — after the festivities died down, the Bravo's Top Chef winner and marathoner was planning to run the 4.7 miles from the event in Brooklyn back to his hotel in Manhattan. (Tune into Top Chef Jr. on Universal Kids, Saturdays at 6/5c, for more Richard Blais.)
"I already have it tracked out," the celeb chef revealed when The Feast caught up with him at the event. "It's sort of a reward for me, I'll usually have this natural high from performing and then I'll get some of that adrenaline out on the road."
Luckily for us, the dad of two daughters, Riley and Embry, stood still long enough for us to ask him some questions. Richard revealed the one food he's not crazy about, what motivates him to run, and the embarrassing room service habit that might raise some red flags with his wife, Jazmin.
The Feast: Is there a food that you eat every single day?
Richard: I think I probably have a banana almost every day. I love bananas and I like 'em green and I like 'em overripe and I like 'em even when they're squishy and rotten and I love 'em with peanut butter. It's a rare day when I don't have a banana.
The Feast: What food do you hate or refuse to eat?
RB: I can't say "hate," because I don't let my kids say that word, so I shouldn't say it out loud. And when I do say it they call me out, they're like "Daddy! That word!" Wait 'til they learn some really bad words. But insects bother me a little bit, we talk about it in my podcast a lot. Like I don't actively want to go eat insects. I know it's a big issue right now, it's the protein of the future, but yeah, I've had to eat them as a judge on Top Chef, in Mexico. I'll do it if it's my job… but yeah, insects.
The Feast: What's your guilty pleasure food?
RB: I've really been into chocolate lately, which I think that just comes with age? I don't know what that is. Chocolate in all forms, basically. Chocolate in any way that it wants to appear in front of me. All of it. I do love milk chocolate; I know if you're really into chocolate you're supposed to love the darker-percentage chocolate, but I like milk chocolate.
The Feast: We hear you're into running marathons. What do you usually eat before a race or when you're in training?
RB: Unfortunately, I still feel like a horrible eater when it comes to nutrition. I'm working on it. My wife's a yoga instructor. I try and eat vegetarian a couple days a week — that's something that I really do, I try [to eat] greens and vegetables. But the problem is I'm gonna run [from the event in Brooklyn to my hotel in Manhattan] tonight so that I can eat a double cheeseburger when I get back to my hotel, like, that's the truth. So I'm literally running so I can eat a cheeseburger. And yes it's good, in a way, but I… have to overcome that hurdle of really diving full into nutrition.
The Feast: That sound like a pretty good reason to run.
RB: It certainly makes it a little bit more enjoyable. But it would be nice if I also, maybe, every once in a while didn't run to go eat half of a pizza.
The Feast: Do you have any embarrassing food habits?
RB: When I do go back to order all of this food tonight at room service, I'll order so much that I order for two people. So that's kind of embarrassing. Because you know room service, they'll be like, "How many people is this for?" and I'll always say "two" even though I'm 95 percent [of the time] by myself. So they bring up two sets of silverware, 'cuz I'm just embarrassed, I ordered five dishes, you know?
And I always think that if I ever— knock on wood, I have a great relationship — but if I ever got divorced, it would be because of my hotel room service habit. Because if my wife was going to start tracking receipts, [she'd wonder] "Who are all these people you're having room service with?" and it's really just me.
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