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Richard Blais Wants to Be a 'Local Chef' in San Diego

Flip/HD1/the Spence chef Richard Blais is opening a restaurant in San Diego, and while he promises to "divide his time" between the two cities, he pledged his commitment to the Southern California town in an interview with Eater SD: "The number one, most important thing for me is to earn a place at the local table and to do that by participating and being a local chef." The chef has received criticism from Atlantans for not spending enough time at his latest restaurant here, the Spence, which opened in Midtown about a year ago. Do read on for excerpts of the interview, in which Blais talks about the new concept and his investment into the San Diego restaurant scene.

Will you be based here [in California]?
I'll be spending a lot of time in San Diego and the Southern California area. I have restaurants and a home in Atlanta so I'll be back and forth, but yes, I'm heavily invested in what we're doing in San Diego and I will be on the ground there frequently.

We've all been waiting for something to go into that space.
If there's one thing I want to express, it's that I'm not a superstar chef just dropping in a concept; it's going to be a very local and unique experience to San Diego. This is such a big deal for me, I'm still trying to make a name for myself and do good things as a chef.

Will it bear any resemblance to what you do at The Spence?
I don't think so. That's a restaurant in Atlanta and this will be an individual concept, not a transplant; I don't think there will be any similarities except that I'll be there.

The restaurant is set to open in December 2013, and there's more right this way. Thoughts? Opinions? Leave 'em in the comments or visit the tipline.
· Richard Blais on Earning a Place at San Diego's Table [-ESD-]
· Richard Blais Is Opening a Restaurant in San Diego [-EATL-]
· All Richard Blais Coverage [-EATL-]
· All Coverage of Richard Blais's San Diego Restaurant [-EATL-]