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posts tagged ‘richard blais’

Food & Wine Announces the 2012 Best New Chefs!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 09:04 PM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

From rising food rockstars to acclaimed celebrity chefs, the country’s culinary elite gathered together last night to celebrate the Food & Wine 2012 Best New Chefs. Held at the Liberty Theater in the heart of Times Square, the 24th annual soiree ushered in the latest roster of talented visionaries, as announced by Food & Wine Editor-in-Chief Dana Cowin and Publisher Christina Grdovic.

During the Broadway-themed affair, Best New Chef alumni Daniel Boulud (1988), Michael Anthony (2002), Shea Gallante (2005), Gavin Kaysen (2007), Matthew Lightner (2010), George Mendes (2011), and Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais prepared tempting signature dishes, as partygoers mingled with the industry’s finest and eagerly anticipated the winners ceremony.

  1. The Liberty Theater set the stage for the 2012 Food & Wine Best New Chefs Party
  2. A few of the industry\'s finest (from left to right): Michael Anthony, George Mendes, Christina Grdovic, Gail Simmons & Gavin Kaysen
  3. The newly named roster of 2012 Best New Chefs celebrated their honor on stage
  4. Past Best New Chefs Gavin Kaysen and Daniel Boulud cooked inspired dishes for the crowd
  5. Ciano chef Shea Gallante\'s creamy burrata wrapped with angel hair and garlicky spring pesto
  6. Food enthusiasts packed into The Liberty Theater\'s main floor and mezzanine for the festivities
  7. Dj Questlove\'s original fried buttermilk drumsticks wrapped in paper-heart origami
  8. Richard Blais offered up bone marrow with braised ox cheek and pickled walnut—a crowd favorite!
  9. Sponsor Godiva served tri-layer panna cotta by F&W\'s Best New Pastry Chef winner Stella Parks

Every year, the editors at Food & Wine scour the nation to find the most talented chefs with a unique culinary vision. “It is such a delight to honor these incredible chefs, who have made a tremendous impact on the culinary world in a short period of time,” Cowin says.

Now, introducing the 2012 Food & Wine Best New Chefs:

Erik Anderson & Josh Habiger, The Catbird Seat, Nashville, TN
Mario Carbone & Rich Torrisi, Torrisi Italian Specialties, New York, NY
Danny GrantRIA, Chicago, IL
Dan Kluger, ABC Kitchen, New York, NY
Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco, CA
Jenn Louis, Lincoln Restaurant, Portland, OR
Cormac Mahoney, Madison Park Conservatory, Seattle, WA
Bryant Ng, The Spice Table, Los Angeles, CA
Karen Nicolas, Equinox, Washington, DC
Blaine WetzelThe Willows Inn, Lummi Island, WA

After the big reveal, guests noshed on Creole-seasoned buttermilk fried chicken drumsticks from DJ Questlove—who rocked the turntables and helped take the event to all-out dance party status. In between savory bites and cutting loose on the dance floor with Dana Cowin and The Harlem James Gang, the crowd sipped Belvedere cocktails and Gallo wines, and got sweet on luscious Godiva chocolate truffles.

Thanks to the entire Food & Wine staff for a truly memorable evening. Wishing many congrats to all the 2012 Best New Chefs!

Images courtesy of and BizBash, YumSugar & AnthonyGiglio.com
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SKYY Infusions Dragon Fruit ‘Blaises’ onto the Scene

Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 11:04 AM - Posted by Megan - (1) comment

Liquid Nitrogen. Vodka. Dragon Fruit. What may sound like a seriously dangerous combination was actually the basis for a menu of haute cuisine prepared by one truly inspired chef.

Chef Richard Blais uses liquid nitrogen to freeze SKYY Infusions Dragon Fruit Vodka

Wednesday night, SKYY Vodka unveiled its newest Infusions flavor, Dragon Fruit, at an intimate launch party hosted by Top Chef All-Stars winner, Richard Blais. Known for elevating classic cuisine by using exotic ingredients and avant-garde techniques (not to mention his signature spiky ‘do resembles the prickly dragon fruit shape), Blais was a natural choice to introduce the infused spirit to members of New York’s food media community. Held at Fifth Avenue’s swanky Andaz hotel, the exclusive event featured a selection of mixed cocktails paired with appetizers and a 3-course dinner—all showcasing the vibrant fuschia-skinned superfruit.

Oyster appetizer with vodka “pearls” sat on a bed of sand with star anise and cinnamon garnish

In true Top Chef Challenge-style, Blais had to incorporate the dragon fruit flavor into each drink and dish he created, resulting in extraordinary taste bud tantalization. The evening began with passed hors d’oeuvres and fanciful libations, such as the Blaisin’ Dragon, Dragon Fruit Sparkling Seduction and Red Dragon. While preparing the entrées, Blais mingled with the crowd and excitedly showed off a little mastery in molecular gastronomy. Bringing modern science into the kitchen, he demonstrated how to use liquid nitrogen to freeze straight vodka (which guests spoon sampled) and create vodka “pearls” to sit atop an oyster appetizer.

Vibrant vodka-splashed Himachi with fried clams, beets and smoked mayonnaise

Chef Blais introduced and detailed each course during the seated dinner, which offered vodka-splashed Hamachi with fried clams and smoked mayo, Alaskan Halibut with decadent brown butter foam, fava beans and pickled glassworts, and (my favorite of the night) corn bread with candied dragon fruit and delicate pistachio ice cream for dessert. The three accompanying cocktails were mixed up using flavorful ingredients—like fresh strawberries, muddled mint, diced English cucumber, vanilla beans, lime juice and lemongrass—to beautifully complement the meal and enhance the exotic dragon fruit.

The Blaisin’ Dragon cocktail, crafted by Richard Blais, was sipped throughout the night

Blaisin’ Dragon

  • 2 oz. SKYY Infusions Dragon Fruit
  • 1/2 Fresh squeezed lime
  • 1/2 Fresh squeezed lemon
  • Splash of orange juice
  • Fresh pineapple
  • 1 Grilled pineapple ring
  • Slice and sear pineapple ring on a grill, remove and cool (place a few wedges in the freezer for garnish).

    Muddle fresh pineapple with lemon juice and lime juice and OJ in a shaker. Pour ice in shaker and add SKYY Infusions Dragon Fruit. Shake vigorously. Rim chilled martini glass with coarse sugar in the raw. Pour cocktail into glass and garnish with a frozen grilled pineapple wedge and enjoy.

    Chef Richard created a blaisin’ hot menu that showcased the bold & exotic dragon fruit

    It’s not every day that you get lucky enough to experience flavors of this magnitude or have a Top Chef cook dinner for you. I am honored that I was invited to attend this fantastic event and look forward to being dragon fruit-inspired in my own kitchen. A special thanks to the SKYY Spirits team, Alison Brod PR and, of course, Richard Blais!

    Note: event photos courtesy of Rob Loud

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