Has Richard Blais Ever Won Top Chef?

Richard Blais may be known for appearances on shows like "Guys Grocery Games" and Gordon Ramsay's "Next Level Chef," but he made one of his early claims to television fame as a contestant on Bravo's hit show "Top Chef." What some people may not realize is that not only did Blais compete on "Top Chef," but he was in the competition twice. He made his first appearance in Season 4 before coming back for the show's first "All-Stars" season and beating out notable names like Antonia Lofaso, Tiffany Derry, and Carla Hall to win it all.

Blais was already accomplished before competing on "Top Chef." He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1998 and trained in the kitchens at top-tier restaurants like Thomas Keller's The French Laundry and the Spanish modernist restaurant el Bulli. In Blais's first "Top Chef" appearance, he impressed judges with his avante-garde techniques. But he didn't clinch the big win until four seasons later in New York City. Since then, he's gone on to become even more successful, and it's hard not to think that winning "Top Chef All-Stars" partly catalyzed what was in store.

A James Beard Award nominee and more

Since Richard Blais won "Top Chef All-Stars," the chef has continued to find success in the food entertainment world. His first cookbook, "Try This at Home," was nominated for a James Beard Award, and he went on to pen two more. He's the host of two podcasts and regularly appears on television. But he hasn't stopped living the restaurant life. Blais started his own restaurant consulting company, Trail Blais, and owns several restaurants, including Juniper and Ivy and the fried chicken restaurant chain The Crack Shack.

He opened a new restaurant in Carlsbad, California during the pandemic, saying, "This is a massive deal for my career and personal growth" (via Just Luxe). The eatery is named Ember & Rye, after Blais' nicknames for his daughters. The menu features items cooked on a wood-fired grill and a robust selection of whiskey and bourbon at the bar, as well as golf course views for customers to enjoy while they dine. What does the future hold next for the "Top Chef All-Stars" winner? Only time will tell, but we have a feeling he's going to keep pushing himself. "You're only as good as the last thing that you do," Blais shared with NBC San Diego. "You're always trying to make that first impression."