Richard Blais answers...10 Questions for a Visiting Chef :/
Name Richard Blais
Welcome to Chicago! Why are you here?
Doing some media for my first cookbook, Try This at Home.
Did you have any fears/anxieties/nervousness about coming to the Midwest? Explain.
I LOVE Chicago and the Midwest. I'm a big runner and it's my favorite running city, and of course a great eating and sports city. Hmmm, guess I won't be running though the next few days :/
True or false: You will be eating at Avec while in town.
False, but I have and it's one of the best places in the country. A true chefs' restaurant, so delicious.
Where else will you be eating?
Trying to see what my friends Grant Achatz [and] Homaro Cantu are up to. I haven't been to Girl & the Goat yet (gasp...) maybe [restaurants from] Graham Elliott Bowles, Rick Bayless, maybe Grace. But honestly, I'm unfortunately in and out :/
The Chicago hot dog—yes or no? (Choose one.)
C. I don’t know what that is.
A. An enthusiastic YES! That dish has truly inspired me. It's the celery seed/celery salt thing....Blows my mind. I'll be having one for sure, even if it's at the airport.
What does Chicago have that your home city doesn’t have?
The Cubs. I love the Cubs. Food-wise, a great number of well-done restaurants. A great mash-up of both ultra-creative fine-dining spots, stuff-your-face eateries, and historic street/casual food. It's an epic food city, but you know that…
What does your home city have that Chicago doesn’t have?
A good football team....I'm going to get in trouble for that. Food-wise, the South has a more storied tradition, perhaps deeper roots. But I consider Chicago a better overall food city to be honest.
Tell us an interesting story from your childhood
My first job was at a McDonald's. I was the poissonier, which means fish cook in French. So it was a very prestigious position.
Tell us a funny/interesting/frightening tale about your restaurant.
We have 400 reservations at The Spence Saturday—that frightens me.
If I had just one more day in Chicago, I’d use it to:
Run 10 miles lakeside. Such a beautiful back drop. And running through the Museum [Campus] & Soldier Field: the best. But I'd want it to be Spring :/