His name matches his persona. Chef Richard Blais, formerly of the defunct but lauded Fishbone and the short-lived, avant-garde Blais, is now cooking at One Midtown Kitchen.
Creative Loafing: Ever feel you were ahead of your time with foie gras milkshakes and all those jellies and foams?
Blais: It was more a perception of how new and bizarre and weird it was. But our clientele didn't perceive it was over the top. The knock that Atlanta wasn't ready is false.
But it failed so ... spectacularly.
There was a market, even if only 50 people ate there a night. That was more to do with investors who were quick to want to cash in. In a different format here at One; we are doing a lot of the same things. My team is at the beginning, the cro-magnum of creativity. The dining public is hungry for new and exciting food. We take commonplace flavors into another realm. The key is to blank out your mind, to erase your memory or thoughts of jelly and what it tastes like.
You do Worcestershire jelly.
We also do mint, too, which is almost ancient, passé. We do many foams, and we categorize them differently. Some with bubbles are fragile and they disappear, like corn. Some are like shaving cream -- bacon, mushroom, Parmesan. We're working on a smoked salmon variation.
Anything that won't pass your lips?
I am not fond of strawberries unless they are super ripe, right from ground. Or raw green peppers. There's a vegetal quality to both of them.
What's the weirdest thing you've eaten?
At Soto, I ate a dish described as cod sperm.
How was that?
Cuz [Sotohiro Kosugi] made it, it was great.
One Midtown Kitchen, 559 Dutch Valley Road, 404-892-4111. www.onemidtownkitchen.
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