The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

A Restaurant, a Cookbook, and a TV Show

I am a huge fan of the TV show Top Chef, and I was really torn between wanting Stephanie Izard and Richard Blais* to win Season 4, which ended last night. Stephanie claimed the title, and the only thing wrong with that was that Richard didn’t win as well. (Too bad he didn’t compete in Season 2, he would have blown those clowns away.) So congrats to Stephanie, and may she and Richard have successful careers making beautiful food for the rest of us. I look forward to buying their cookbooks someday, and maybe dining at their restaurants.

For a bit more info on Richard, see the comments below. And I have been misspelling his last name, which is Blais, not Blaise. Oops. I did get a lot of hits from people who made the same misspelling, so I’m keeping the tag for the benefit of the misspellers. Fellow misspellers, if you Google “Richard Blais”, you will get the info you seek. Here is the link to his website.

And the first Top Chef cookbook is out! It’s really half cookbook, half show chronicle. I recommend it to one and all.

Away from the television and my fantasies of making television food, I have discovered a new Ethiopian restaurant. If you are unfamiliar with Ethiopian food, here’s what you need to know: it’s different. It tends to be spicy, often but not always hot, and there are no utensils. You eat it by tearing off bits of “injera”, a spongy pancake, and using the injera to pick up bits of food. Anyway, Meaza has won great praise as an “authentic” Ethiopian restaurant in the Washington DC suburbs. Dave and I were there for about an hour and 15 minutes the other night, and for the first 45 minutes everyone else in the place appeared to be Ethiopian immigrants. The food was exceptional, especially the lamb tibs, which we will definitely order again. With two beers, one salad, and two entrees, we paid about $40 plus tip, so it was also reasonably priced. I can’t wait to go back!


June 12, 2008 - Posted by | Book Reviews, food, recipes, Top Chef | , , , , , ,


  1. Found your post after doing a search for richard Blaise. I LOVE THAT GUY! And I called him and Stephanie early on as finalists – and I’m totally fine with Stephanie winning cuz she was – in the words of Snoop Dogg – the real deal holyfield, but Blaise was A-Blaize-ing! That guy made me think about food in ways that I never knew. If Richard has a restaurant, please tell me what it is! I will fly from Portland, Oregon and bring him a bottle of the best Pinot Noir this earth has to offer!

    Comment by dave | June 13, 2008 | Reply

  2. Just to add: I spoke with a friend who sent Richard an e-mail telling him how much she admired him as a person and how much his cooking style appealed to her. He replied with the kind of generous, intelligent response his fans would expect, and said he looks forward to cooking for her someday.

    I have to agree with her assessment of him. Much reality TV makes it hard to maintain calm. Top Chef is probably not that bad for the genre, but we’ve heard contestants speak afterwards about the pressure, the sleep deprivation, and the difficult environment. Richard went into that environment and operated with class the entire time. Bravo to him!

    And while I doubt I’ll ever make it to his restaurants (I think he’s in Atlanta now), I do hope he writes a few cookbooks in what should be a long and productive career.

    Comment by esheley | June 19, 2008 | Reply

  3. All I found out about him is that he is currently working at a restaurant in Atlanta called One Midtown Kitchen. Here’s the link: ( :

    Comment by JBerg | June 19, 2008 | Reply

  4. Sorry for the misinformation. His new restaurant is actually called Home. Here’s the link:

    Comment by JBerg | June 19, 2008 | Reply

  5. his had several restaurant: TrailBlaise, Blaise Up!, Element…etc..

    Comment by sean | July 1, 2008 | Reply

  6. I have just currently looked at the here to serve website and from the way it reads he is no longer at home……richard where have you gone, and why can’t you stay at a restaurant as the captain of the galley for to long

    Comment by jlawson | September 19, 2008 | Reply

  7. Greetings. I see you did a post about Ethiopian food on your blog. Here on WordPress, I have an entire Ethiopian Food blog, and I’ve written a book about the cuisine. I thought you and your visitors might be interested in looking at it:


    Comment by atokitfo | June 13, 2011 | Reply

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