Atlanta chef, food personality, and Top Chef contestant Richard Blais has just written his first cookbook – Try This at Home: Recipes from My Head To your Plate. From the book's cover you can already tell it's going to be a fun read and skimming the inside for funky photos and block text confirms this. Eater caught up with Blais at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, where he took over Evian's Instagram account, documenting his appearance at the Grand Tasting Village in photos, and talked cookbooks and plans. (We also scored a copy of the cookbook, which isn't officially out until tomorrow, February 26.)
What was the inspiration behind the book?
It's a cookbook for the home cook, so really what I wanted to do was come out with a book that sort of defined me a little better. People see me cooking on TV and see me being sort of a science, tech-driven chef ? the book's a little simpler than that. It was more of a personal defining book. I love Fergus Henderson's Nose To Tail, but there wasn't one particular book that I said well, I want my book to be like that, so it's pretty unique.
What is your favorite ingredient to cook with, what comes up a lot in the book?
My favorite ingredients change day to day. Stone crab and spiny lobster, when in South Beach those are pretty good favorite ingredients.
What is your favorite thing about the book?
Tough to pick, it's like choosing your favorite child. It depends what you're in the mood for. There's a roast chicken recipe that's great, a brisket, which is super easy to do ? there's many recipes that I love. My favorite part about the book is the photography. There's definitely a spirit of fun in the photography and I think it tells a story. I sort of found the way I wanted to shoot all of my cookbooks.
Already planning the next cookbook?
I am, planning on book two already and we'll see how that goes. Definitely more television, more cookbooks, more restaurants.
Speaking of "more restaurants", any news on opening Flip Burger Boutique in Miami Beach?
We're interested. Definitely a region that we're interested in. If anyone wants to write me a check or find me a space on Lincoln Road, we'll do that.
[Photo Courtesy of Angelica Galan]