has covered a lot of ground in his rise to prominence.
He began his culinary career the way a lot of teenagers do, as the “poissonier” at McDonald’s.
It was here where he first dabbled in deconstruction in cuisine; serving the filet-o-fish sandwiches with no top buns.
Mr. Blais attended the Culinary Institute of America (AA’98) in Hyde Park, New York. He nurtured a growing passion for French technique and soon accepted an internship at the French Laundry in Yountville, California. There he honed his skills working underneath Thomas Keller and side-by-side with rising stars like, Grant Achatz.
In 1997, Mr. Blais returned to the CIA to finish his formal education. He accepted a Fellowship in the fish kitchen and spent the next year teaching fish fabrication and cookery to over 1000 students while working on a self-sustainable farm in Mount Kisco, New York.
Upon graduating, Chef Blais went on to work under great chefs at exemplary restaurants like Daniel Boulud at Restaurant Daniel. He truly started to find his professional compass after a brief stint in Spain at El Bulli under Ferran Adria.
In 2000, Richard was lured to Atlanta by a group of restaurateurs to run a small seafood kitchen, before opening BLAIS, in the winter of 2004. The eponymous, BLAIS Restaurant opened to critical acclaim both locally and nationally and pushed the boundaries of creative cuisine.
From the culmination of his unyielding passion and unique experience, Trail Blais was born. Trail Blais is Mr. Blais’ creative culinary company that has consulted on, designed, and operated three and four star restaurants in Atlanta. Currently, Trail Blais is operating Flip Burger Boutique in midtown Atlanta, a four star eatery redefining the iconic American burger experience. A second Flip Burger opened in Birmingham at the end of 2009. Conceptual work for new ventures in Los Angeles and Miami is also underway.
Chef Blais has also undertaken product development and endorsements for major corporations like Diageo, LG, McCormick, iSi and Quaker.
Blais, a recipient of Gayot Guide’s ‘Top Five Rising Chefs of 2005,’ appeared on BRAVO’s Emmy Award winning series ‘Top Chef’ and ‘Top Chef Masters’ and on the Food Network’s ‘Iron Chef America’ and ‘Food Detectives’. In 2011, he was awarded the title of Top Chef, on the 'Top Chef All Stars' season. He has been featured in numerous publications such as The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and Food & Wine Magazine for his creative take on American food.
He resides in Atlanta with his wife and two daughters.