Culinary Keynote – Richard Blais
Richard Blais is a successful chef, restaurateur, James Beard nominated cookbook author and television personality. Blais, widely recognized as the first winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars and recently announced co-star of the new Gordon Ramsay / FOX cooking competition, Next Level Chef, went on to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America and trained at The French Laundry, Daniel, Chez Panisse, and el Bulli. Most recently, he opened Ember & Rye at the newly renovated Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, California and took on the role of Culinary Director at the newly opened San Diego Symphony performance space, The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. Blais currently owns and operates Trail Blais, a forward-thinking culinary consulting company that has consulted on, designed, and operated popular eateries across the country. Trail Blais also advises national brands on menu creativity, ideation and employee training sessions. He is the James Beard Award-nominated author of Try This at Home: Recipes from My Head to Your Plate, as well as his second cookbook, So Good. In addition, Blais hosts, “Food Court,” a high-energy, game-show-style podcast, which is climbing the charts in both comedy and culinary. When not on set, in the kitchen or at home with his family, Blais may be found traveling cross country performing his live “stand up cooking” show to enthusiastic audiences nationwide.