Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Blais’s glory

September 9

I’ve never had enough fame to know what it really does to a person. I’m not sure I’d handle it very well. Back when Rocco DiSpirito was declared “Sexiest Chef Alive” by People, and the magazine ran a picture with his shirt open and his chest oiled up, I went on the record as saying that if a magazine declared me the sexiest food writer alive I’d totally unbutton my shirt and spread on the oil.
So I can’t fault Richard Blais, who was a promising chef with a budding career, for deciding to become a contestant on Top Chef, or, after his season was over, for deciding to leave high-end dining to focus on opening a burger joint. I like burgers.
But one of my colleagues was working on a story about him as chef at Home in Atlanta, and then the story had to be scrapped when we found out last night that he has left the restaurant, or maybe that he was made to leave.
It’s a drag when you have to scrap a story.
From representatives of Home: “We wish Richard all the best on his individual endeavors, but his focus was not at Home with all his additional projects going on.”
Those include a burger joint, speaking engagements and some sort of Top Chef reunion tour.
Restaurant management continues: "We will promote Jeff Wright to be the Executive Chef from Sous Chef. Jeff has been the backbone of the kitchen since day one and we are thrilled to have him lead the kitchen and continue with the incredible food the team and him put out every day.”
So, congratulations to Jeff Wright.

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