World Chefs: Richard Blais serves up restraint in first book

Tue May 7, 2013 10:41am EDT
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - American chef Richard Blais may be best known for using gimmicks and gadgets in his television appearances but in his first cookbook, "Try This At Home!", he shows his cooking can be fun and tasty without being complicated.

The 41-year-old used often used liquid nitrogen and immersion circulators to make dishes on the U.S. cooking competition show "Top Chef All-Stars," which he won more than two years ago.

Blais, a marathon runner and soccer fan, was born in Uniondale, New York and now lives in Atlanta where he owns The Spence and several other restaurants.

The classically trained chef spoke to Reuters about his reputation as a molecular chef, cooking for his family and being a celebrity.

Q: Is there a misconception about your cooking?

A: My food has gotten a rap that it's really overly complicated, scientific, tech-driven. That's not necessarily the case. I cook simple food at home. People could buy the book and cook from it, not just look at the pretty pictures. It's not just about showcasing the food at the restaurant but also the simple food we make every day as well.

Q: How would you describe your cuisine?

A: My food is generally modern American. We take joy in interpreting classic food. The cookbook might take a beef goulash or a roast chicken or pizzas broken down in different ways. We like to take common comfortable American dishes and reinvent them or re-imagine them.   Continued...

U.S. chef Richard Blais poses in this undated handout photo released on May 7, 2013. REUTERS/Courtesy from Clarkson Potter/Handout via Reuters