In an event for Alice Water's Edible Schoolyard foundation, Top Chef All-Stars Champ Chef Richard Blais (@RichardBlais) cooked an incredible meal for 150 fans tonight at at Frog Hollow Farms in Brentwood, CA.
First and foremost, the champ leaked to his fans (about 150 in attendance) that he very recently signed a book deal with Random House for a book to come out in the fall of 2012 (!!!). He stressed that it wouldn't be all sous vide and liquid nitrogen, but something that would tell his story and make the professional touches accessible to the at home chef. Sounds like a winner - it'll be exciting to see.
Without further ado, let's get to some pics from the evening:
We got there early enough to catch the chef before he put his chef coat on. Tending to dual 600 lbs. tanks of liquid nitrogen, he was having a great time.
Set in the stunning peach orchards, Richard was an incredibly gracious host to all guests including my wife and me (she's a big Top Chef fan.) Throughout the night, he delighted folks with tales from the show, lessons on the techniques he was employing, and just general charm.
It was nearly 90 degrees in Brentwood, so when the Plum Blueberry Agua Fresca (what an inventive, sweet, tart, refreshing flavor combination!!) started flowing, everyone was appreciative (not to mention when the beer and wine started...)
The menus were elegantly mounted on balsa wood...maybe hard to read in the pictures, but we started with Hog Island Oysters, Pimento/Cheese sandwiches, and Beet tartare as passed hors d'ourves. We then had a wonderful combination of Chilled Hiramasa fish with fried chicken and smoked aioli, a Cutlet of fried Petrale Sole, followed by a succulent pork belly (sous vide for 48 hrs then finished on the grill), and last, a wonderful cherry ice cream made with liquid nitrogen - you'd expect nothing different from Chef Blais.
The delicious fish/fried chicken course.
Fried petrale sole with cherry tomatoes and anchovy/raisin butter
Slow cooked Pork Belly with cauliflower several ways - pureed, in a "foam", and grilled.
And finally delicious ice cream in some of the most amazing cones ever tasted.
It was a wonderful event and Chef Blais was a gracious host. The people from Frog Hollow were a pleasure - I'll hope to go back again ASAP.