The San Diego 500, The Book of Influential Business Leaders, is the market’s most comprehensive product of people you should know in the business community. The 500 includes business leaders and executives who have founded or are running significant companies in terms of number of jobs, key products and services, experts who raise the level of the industry here and beyond and those who lead in the business community. The 500 is selected by the San Diego Business Journal newsroom.

Richard Blais

Chef and Partner, Juniper Hospitality

Richard Blais is an accomplished chef who has been involved in high-profile local restaurants and reality TV shows. He and Micheal Rosen open critically acclaimed Juniper & Ivy in Little Italy in 2014, helping jump start the food scene in the re-gentrified neighborhood. Blais in 2015 was part of a group that opened The Crack Shack, a fast-casual concept with a creative chicken-and-egg based menu. In 2016 the group opened another Crack Shack storefront in Encinitas. Blais currently owns and operates Trail Blais, a consulting firm that has worked on, among others, the Flip Burger Boutique in the Southeast. He remains a regular on the Food Network. He also has written two cookbooks. He is perhaps best known for appearing as a contestant on the fourth season of Top Chef and winning the all-star competition. He was a main judge in 2014-15.

ALMA MATER: Culinary Institute of America

DEBUT: His first cooking job was at a McDonald’s.

HOBBY: He recently completed his fifth New York City marathon.