Chef Richard Blais to Headline Science Center Annual Benefit

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Chef Richard Blais to Headline Science Center Annual Benefit

(WEST PALM BEACH) At a time when chefs often claim fan bases like rock stars, one of the culinary world’s most celebrated is set to headline the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium’s upcoming benefit, “Avant Garde Cuisine: The Science of Food.” Scheduled for Thursday, April 11 at The Breakers, celebrity Chef Richard Blais will wow the crowd with his signature cutting-edge techniques, and in the process, have a little fun with food. Certain to be a highlight of the evening’s live auction, Chef Blas has agreed to create and host a private dinner party with his Sous Chef for 14 guests in the bidder’s home.

Known by its guests as the “Smarty Party,” this annual elegant dinner and lively speaker presentation will demonstrate the science of molecular gastronomy, one of the many branches of food science that incorporates the chemical transformation of ingredients into cooking. A master of molecular gastronomy, Chef Blais is famous for his daring cooking and has developed a career around the intersection of science and food.

Perhaps most recognizable as the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars, Richard Blais is a successful chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and television personality. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, he went on to train at The French Laundry, Daniel, Chez Panisse, and el Bulli.

Blais has appeared on Top Chef, Top Chef All-Stars, Iron Chef America and Chopped All-Stars as a competitor.  He is a recurring judge on Top Chef and Master Chef and has also judged episodes of Guy's Grocery Games, Cutthroat Kitchen and Cooks vs Cons. Blais has particularly enjoyed his hosting duties for the shows Burger Lab, Cook Your A$$ Off and Food Network's Halloween Baking Championship.

He currently owns and operates Trail Blais, a forward-thinking culinary company that has consulted on, designed, and operated popular eateries including multiple outposts of Flip Burger Boutique located in the Southeast and most recently, Crack Shack and Juniper & Ivy in Southern California.

“Last year more than 350,000 visitors and students explored, discovered, created and were inspired by the Science Center’s unique and engaging aquariums, exhibits and programs,” said Kate Arrizza, CEO of the Science Center. “Participation in Avant Garde Cuisine – the Science of Food supports the Science Center’s mission to open all minds to Science.”

Co-chairs for the event are Caroline Cummings Rafferty, Mary Freitas and Elizabeth Gordon and tickets are $600 per person; seating is limited.

“I am honored to be joined by co-chairs Mary Freitas and Caroline Rafferty in presenting this unique event on behalf of the South Florida Science Center,” said co-chair Elizabeth Gordon. “We look forward to Chef Blais’ presentation which will include a fun, interactive demonstration of manipulating molecules in food.”

Sponsors for the event include Florida Power and Light, Palm Beach Illustrated and PNC Bank.

The mission of the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is to “open every mind to science” and in addition to its fresh and saltwater aquarium and new backyard Science Trail, the indoor/outdoor venue features more than 100 hands-on educational exhibits, a digital planetarium, conservation research station, Florida exhibit hall, Pre-K focused “Discovery Center,” an interactive Everglades exhibit and the 18-hole Conservation Course – an outdoor putting course with science-focused education stations. Dinosaur Invasion runs through April 21 and Journey Through the Human Brain opens March 13.

For tickets and sponsorship information, contact Marcy Hoffman, director of institutional development, at (561) 370-7738 or