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Check out Richard Blais as mad food scientist in Science Channel pilot series ‘Blais Off’ Friday

blais-off-sneak-peek

Richard Blais has been his usual consummate professional self on Bravo’s “Top Chef: All Stars” after three episodes – save for missing the clock in the debut episode. He’s been safe after four eliminations, with 14 remaining.

But he’s already looking beyond that show with his very own effort on the Science Channel called “Blais Off.”

On Friday, the small network is doing what it’s dubbing a “sneak preview” of the show with two episodes.

“It’s a test run,” said Blais in a phone interview earlier this week while he was cooking sourdough bread. “They’ll see how it goes over. For me, it’s a great education.”

He is using his love of science to tinker with traditional recipes of iconic foods. In these test episodes, he will try to update pizza and burgers.

Blais said he pitched the show to other networks but Science liked it best. “I pitched to Science knowing in my heart and head that’s the one that’s going to stick,” he said. “I walked into the pitch with a tank of liquid nitrogen and did a demonstration. The enthusiasm was there.”

I watched the pizza episode. In October, right after he filmed “Top Chef,” he visited a classic pizza joint in New York City called Patsy’s where he learned how the pizza is made. “I get this free education,” he said, “then take it back to my lab and re-engineer it to make it taste better.” He tries different techniques (including his now patented liquid nitrogen) to boost flavor. Then he takes it back to the pizza place and regulars try both pizzas side by side.

“It was intimidating,” he admitted.

During the episode, Blais is charming and energetic, breaking down scientific methods without getting too bogged down in jargon.

Ironically, he said, he failed chemistry in high school. “My lack of enthusiasm in high school has led me to be interested in everything now,” he said. (It’s no coincidence he married a woman Jazmin who has a masters in microbiology from Emory.)

In fact, making pizza has inspired him to get into yeast and dough, which is why he has been spending so much time baking bread at home.

Check out the show trailer here:

On TV

“Blais Off,” 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., The Science Channel

22 comments Add your comment

steve brown

December 17th, 2010
9:58 am

Huge fan of food shows but not of Blais. He talked his way out of winning on his first “Top Chef” appearance. He should have been eliminated from the current “Top Chef All-Stars” for going over the time limit (and acting completely dumbfounded). He seems like a complete wimp. Lastly, I can live quite nicely without upscale burger joints like his flip burger (give me a greasy spoon anytime) and cooking scientology (just throw it on the grill, in the oven or on the stove).

ATLtomahawk

December 17th, 2010
10:21 am

Wow. I think Mr. Brown has some sort of vendetta against Blais. In my opinion the types of methods employed by Blais are rather interesting/entertaining. Not all of it works, but I appreciate the effort. I enjoy a greasy burger as much as the next guy…nothing wrong with gourmet burgers though. Much lighter and brings a welcomed twist to the traditional meal. There’s a reason he never loses on Top Chef. His food tastes good.

Pepe

December 17th, 2010
10:56 am

I’m setting the DVR now…

Scott

December 17th, 2010
11:18 am

Steve,

It’s Christmas time – chill out.

Kar

December 17th, 2010
11:24 am

I remember rumors of a similiar show on the SyFy network with Astroboy Marcel. Apparently that didn’t pan out so he may still be modeling for Big Boy’s restaurant.

Unless your Ferran Adrià you can only do so many shows with foams fer heavens sake.

Jan

December 17th, 2010
11:41 am

I love Blais and hated that he lost on his first Top Chef attempt. I will be making a note to set the DVR for his show.

steve brown

December 17th, 2010
11:55 am

Blais “cheats” by taking extra time acts like he didn’t and you still show him love. Hometown hero I guess. Thanks Kar, let them eat foam!

Enimem Brown

December 17th, 2010
11:58 am

I like Blais, he can outcook you ANY DAY and I know this. Steve, get a life and don’t be hating on him brother, brother….Blais is da man, Steve you are not.

Amanda

December 17th, 2010
1:02 pm

Steve,

Maybe you need to check out BravoTv.com and read Tom’s blog. He said that after Blais watched the replay he totally understood why he was disquilified. Somebody sounds a little jeaous to me.

steve brown

December 17th, 2010
1:52 pm

Yeah I wish I could cook a foam burger!!

steve brown

December 17th, 2010
1:56 pm

Tom Colicchio is leaving town, perhaps Blais is going with him-a Craft Foam Burger chain-oh yummy!

Nate

December 17th, 2010
2:52 pm

Blias is someone that I would enjoy having a meal with. steve brown…not so much…

Rick

December 17th, 2010
3:25 pm

liquid nitrogen – boring

Babs

December 17th, 2010
3:50 pm

Kudos to him. He is the one with the most style and professionalism on the show.

Alexis

December 17th, 2010
4:30 pm

Steve don’t be upset that you can not afford a Flip Burger! Everyone has an opinion! He is on TV and making a nice salary so I think he probably doe not care what anyone thinks about the show or his “foam” burger! He is laughing all the way to the bank!!

Lamar

December 17th, 2010
7:22 pm

I am excited by this show. Exploring the new is how we progress. Love or hate or things in between, what matters is that he is diving in and seeing what is there. I remember when wd 50 was being tested they did try to figure out how to fry mayonnaise so it was good to see him getting worked up about frying mayonnaise. It can be done. Fun stuff, food should have a bit of a smile and a lot of taste. Did Org and Og complain about cooking with fire when meat was first put to flame? Give rB a break and let’s see what he has to show us, it could be interesting.

Dreamboat

December 18th, 2010
10:12 am

I watched the show last night and I enjoyed it. I admit I am a huge Blais fan so I am sure that added to my enjoyment.

josh

December 18th, 2010
11:19 am

Thanks for the heads up on this, Rodney. Watched it last night and enjoyed it. Great concept for a show, and I enjoy getting a more in depth look at his tricks and techniques and how he thinks about food. It’s clear he loves what he does, too. I hope the Science channel continues with it – should only get even better with time.

John

December 19th, 2010
10:46 am

Perhaps all of you Blaze haters are forgetting the reason he didn’t get eliminated; HE HAD IMMUNITY! Plus, I doubt that the rules automatically disqualify somebody for going over time. Like somebody said earlier, there is a reason he doesn’t get eliminated, and it’s because he cooks good food.

CAR

December 19th, 2010
11:29 am

Enjoyed both episodes thoroughly! Thanks for the alert. I’d love to see Blais and Alton Brown get together for an episode of hard-core food science!

Mike

December 19th, 2010
7:52 pm

Steve… your whats wrong with how people look at food in this country. People are sick of basic cooking and like to see something different sometimes. I’m all about simplicity in food but sometimes its nice to shake it up a bit. It sounds like your just an arrogant prick who knows nothing about food and gastronomy. Richard Blais is a great chef and he deserves all the credit and publicity he receives.

AJ

December 20th, 2010
1:18 am

@Rodney – Looks like the show is on at 8 & 8:30 this Tuesday 12/21, not Friday at 10 & 10:30. At least that’s what my Tivo is telling me!