Tag Archives: Top Chef

The Tao of Richard Blais: Part I

Richard Blais is a truly nice guy and an amazing chef. He also plays one on TV.

And although part of me wishes his last name was “Blaze” and he secretly fought crime with a combination of modern gastronomical techniques and hair product, that’s just not him. The guy is a beast in the kitchen, but one of the most cordial, approachable of the new rank of “food celebrities.”

How do I know this? I actually got a chance to meet the winner of Top Chef All-Stars last week at the National Pork Board’s pop-up Pork Inspiration Cafe.

Continue reading


My First Scallops


No, they’re not the first scallops I’ve ever eaten… just the first ones I’ve ever prepared.

They turned out decently, all things considered. And by “things,” I mean:

  1. I had no idea what leeks looked like. I forgot to check the web before going to the supermarket, so I had to depend on some visual aids in the produce department. Thankfully, I picked the right weird-looking vegetable.
  2. I used frozen scallops, which seem to have their own rules for defrosting. According to the Trader Joe’s bag, defrosting at room temperature is a no-no. Thanks, Trader Joe’s bag!
  3. I seared the scallops in a nonstick pan. I don’t think you’re supposed to do that.

scallops-two-pansThe recipe can be found here, and I must agree, it is pretty easy to make.

I subbed in vermouth for brandy (because I never have brandy lying around), so I guess the leeks and mushrooms were vermouthed [trademark: me], rather than brandied.

I was pleased that I didn’t overcook the scallops – they weren’t chewy and yielded easily to a butter knife. On the other hand, the mushroom/leek mixture had kind of a funky taste. I’m not sure whether that was due to the missing brandy or the fact that I’m not used to eating leeks. I’ll chalk it up to both.

Since I was not as traumatized as I thought I’d be from my first scallop cooking experience, I guess I’ll give them another shot.

But you can be sure I won’t overdue it, like Jamie on Top Chef. After all, as Fabio would say, “This is Man Eat Food, not Man Eat Scallop!”