Richard Blais

Holiday Sides From the Nation’s Top Chefs

Gobble, gobble is just a few weeks away. Now is the time to finalize your plans for cooking your Thanksgiving dinner. Some of the country’s best chefs go together at the Aspen Food and Wine Festival and literally talked turkey. Check it out:

MICHAEL CHIARELLO

RICHARD BLAIS

JOHN BESH

Richard Blais Takes Top Chef All Stars

Winner of Top Chef

Just a quick note to congratulate Richard Blais for winning Top Chef All Stars.  Your life is about to change.  Enjoy the ride, chef.

For those who missed the fireworks last night on Bravo here is a nice breakdown from TVfanatic.com:

 

Richard or Michael?

The Final Challenge
No Quickfire, there’s just too much to do! The finale seemed a bit rushed to me, but at least Mike and Richard got to open up the restaurant of their dreams, with eliminated foes as their sous chefs. In an interesting twist, the chefs could not directly pick the latter; instead, the sous chefs “auditioned” for Mike and Richard.

While it’s a fun twist, I wonder how happy the eliminated chefs must be to cook for the finalists. The fact that chefs who aren’t chosen seem rather excited to enjoy their time in the Bahamas probably makes Richard and Mike more nervous.

The chefs are apprehensive, of course, because in addition to gems like Angelo and Antonia, there is also Jamie and Marcel. Richard gets Antonia, Spike, and Angelo, a fairly strong team, while Mike picks Jaime (ouch!), Carla, and Tiffany.

Richard’s Restaurant: A surf and turf restaurant named Tongue & Cheek. So Richard!

Menu:

  • Amuse Bouche: Raw Oyster with Lemon Horseradish Ice Cream and Salsa Verde.
  • Raw Hamachi with Fried Veal Sweetbreads, Asian Pear, Pickled Radish, and Garlic Mayonnaise
  • Pork Belly with a Black Cod Cutlet, Bone Marrow, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, and Kumquat
  • Beef Short Rib with Mushrooms, Red Cabbage Marmalade, and Celery Root Horseradish Puree
  • Cornbread with Foie Gras Ice Cream and Whipped Mango

The food is generally well-received by the judges, although they seem a bit confused by the foie gras ice cream. I’m awfully curious to know what that tastes like.

Mike’s Restaurant: An Italian-themed restaurant named Iz, as his mother called him Izzie while growing up.

Menu:

  • Spiced beets with Mozzarella, Chocolate, and Truffle Vinaigrette
  • Halibut with Kumquats Marmalade, Cauliflower Puree, and Pancetta Crumbs
  • Braised Pork Shoulder with Pepperoni Sauce, Roasted Cabbage, and Turnips
  • Rosemary Caramel Custard with Pine Nuts, Citrus, Cherry and Apple

Mike’s restaurant gets rave reviews, as well, although his dessert isn’t as well-received.

RichardBlais

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ICA: Cora vs. Kostow

After last week’s battle of the salads between Morimoto and Amanda Cohen hopefully there will be some meat on the menu in the second-to-last ICA of season 8.  With Cora doing battle this week, we once again are left wondering Where’s Jose Garces?

Chef Cora’s challenger this week is rising star chef Christopher Kostow.  Oddly enough, Kostow has a full bio on the Food Network web site, a rarity for a one time challenger.  Could there be something in the works?

Christopher Kostow on WannabeTVchef.comWho could blame the Network for wanting to enlist Kostow after the hullabaloo surrounding the talented young chef the past few years.  A Michelin-starred chef by age 30, Chef Christopher was named to Food & Wine‘s list of Top Ten Dishes of the Year in 2007 and San Francisco Chronicle named Christopher a 2008 Rising Star Chef.  It was also in 2008 that he arrived at The Restaurant at Meadowwood in Napa Valley after a lofty and unconventional journey.

Rather than spending years shut away in some culinary school, Kostow opted to instead earn his way to chef by working at some of the most notable restaurants in the world.  He got his education old school when he left his hometown of Chicago to work for the likes of Trey Foshee and Daniel Humm.  Afterwards he did the rounds throughout France to learn the tricks of the trade in traditional French bistros.

Kostow describes his approach, “I embrace food memories — traditional combinations that work together — and then distill those flavors into something that is very much different, and very much stands on its own.”  Cat Cora has created a few food memories herself.

The judges for Battle: Oatmeal were Liliana Cavendish, Ryan D’Agostino and Nina Griscom.  There was also a Top Chef sighting as both competitors had sous chefs from that “other cooking contest” in tow, Richard Blais and Ed Cotton.

Click HERE for the outcome.

If you haven’t already please check out the interview of Cat Cora done recently by Lindsay Mott of MS Digital Daily.

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ICA: Cora vs. Kostow – Outcome

SPOILER ALERT: The following information is the outcome of Cora vs. Kostow.  If you want information on the combatants click HERE.  If you are only interested in the outcome read on.

The judges for Battle: Oatmeal were Liliana Cavendish, Ryan D’Agostino and Nina Griscom.  There was also a Top Chef sighting as both competitors had sous chefs from that “other cooking contest” in tow, Richard Blais and Ed Cotton.

Cora              Kostow
Taste: 27       Taste: 29
Plating: 13      Plating: 13
Originality: 14 Originality: 13
Total: 54        Total: 55

If you haven’t already please check out the interview of Cat Cora done recently by Lindsay Mott of MS Digital Daily.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up

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