"Trying to get me to cry by looking at this ugly picture? There are worse ones..."
That's how Richard Blais reacts to a photo taken 10 years ago, when Blais was almost 60 pounds overweight - and 60 pounds heavier than he is today.
"I just really lost control of myself because I was tasting food all day long and partaking in the social aspect of our industry," Blais, 41, tells HLN.
The acclaimed chef - "Top Chef: All-Stars" winner, the owner of Trail Blais and operator of Atlanta-based restaurants The Spence and Flip Burger Boutique - lost all that weight and kept it off, he says, by overhauling his lifestyle.
Is it hot in here, or is it just the peppercorns? We asked José Andrés, Michel Nischan, Gail Simmons, Michael Chiarello, Sang Yoon, John Besh, Richard Blais and Andrew Zimmern to deliver some serious sweet talk to their favorite ingredients and kitchen tools in the video above.
Hungry for more?
It may not have been pretty, but it sure was delicious and four days after the fact, I'm still dreaming about this meal. We do an awful lot of asking people to finish the sentence, "It's not Thanksgiving without..." but I suppose I've never answered the question here myself.
That'd be the plate above, laden with turkey, my husband's squash casserole, and sweet potatoes, barbecue and collard greens made with skill, practice and a whole of love by my friend Eric. He's a talented cook to be sure, but I happen to believe he's got a certain amount of divine guidance on his side in the form of our friend Mama Diva, with whom we used to gather and eat this very meal each year.
5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
If you're sick of plunging your knife into a glass ketchup bottle to avoid French fry oversaturation, or merely just concerned about recent reports of excessive sodium lurking in your favorite burger accoutrement, try dressing up your dishes the old-fashioned way with DIY condiments.
Five Easy and Creative Condiments You Can Make at Home: Richard Blais
The best meals aren't just about Michelin stars and vintage Champagne. No matter where these celebrity chefs' careers have taken them, they're always hungry for the flavors of home.
Chefs John Besh, George Mendes, Andrew Zimmern, Marcus Samuelsson, Michael Chiarello, Angelo Sosa, Richard Blais and Sang Yoon talk about the influences their families and cultural ties have had on the way they cook today.
Per our pals at This Just In:
Some might turn up their nose at the notion of getting down with the clown, but manning the fish station at his local franchise was what inspired newly-crowned Top Chef Richard Blais to pursue a cooking career.
It wasn't just rotovap tricks and mastery of the sous vide machine that cinched the elusive Top Chef All-Stars win for Richard Blais. Plain ol' butter, salt and classic cookery shared the spotlight - along with some on-the-job experience he acquired under the Golden Arches.
Nope, not gonna spoil it here for all you DVR-ing, social media avoiding fans who might have missed last night's Top Chef final showdown between Richard Blais and Mike Isabella. Our Marquee Blog has all the spoilers you can eat.
Chocolate? Champagne? That's soooooo last century. Our favorite (shhhh!) Top Chef All Stars contestant Richard Blais is working his wizardry on V-Day. In the second installment of his weekly segment on our Senior Junk Food Correspondent Ali Velshi's show - hosted today by the always dapper Don Lemon, he shared his method for maximum romance.
Here's a cheat sheet with the recipes which, in the words of a colleague who shall remain nameless, "Serving that on Valentine's Day would likely get a guy laid."
FYI – this is what he means by iSi.
3 cups bottled red beet juice