How did Richard Blais become a chef?
Like a lot of boys, I wanted to be an athlete, and I played different sports from five years old all the way up through high school and college. My first job was at McDonald’s. I’m always really proud to talk about that, and I mention it in the book. My first position at McDonald’s was poissonier, which means fish cook. The first batch of filet-o-fish I sent out, I forgot to put the top buns on them. So I was being avant-garde and creative way before I knew that was my calling. But I was just sort of floating through life and going through college studying whatever. I don’t even remember. But I was always cooking without knowing that was going to be a career. As I started climbing up from the McDonald’s to the local restaurant, a little Italian place, a little French place, I started running into people who actually went to school to cook. People who weren’t just grinding out a workday, they were actually learning a craft. I fell into it like that. I was having a lot more fun learning how to cook instead of studying world religion and comparative humanities. I sort of became obsessed with it, and that’s how it started.