Oh dear, possums.
We hasten to add that, aside from his annoying overuse of the phrase and concept of things being “a play on” other things, we like and admire Richard Blais and his creativity and maturity. This makes it all the more wince-inducing to come across this passage in an interview he did with the Phoenix, Az., East Valley Tribune:
[I]s Atlanta the right city for you? Would your style be more accepted in a New York or San Francisco?
It’s a tough question to answer as I’m walking around the parking lot of my restaurant here. I’m a New Yorker originally. I’m into college football, and a lot of college football coaches will have that one clause in their contract that’s like, “Here’s my contract, but if this one school comes calling, all bets are off.” I lived in San Francisco and I’m a new Yorker, and I love those two cities. And I love Atlanta because it’s put me on the map and there are so many people here that are great. Is it a place I can see three or four really creative restaurants surviving over a long period of time? Probably not. Just in general, if you think about the South, it takes them a long time to embrace things not as crazy as bacon ice cream, you know? Historically, it took the South a long time to embrace the civil rights movement, for example. So we’ll see where it goes. The difference is that Atlanta is a big metropolitan city and the South is almost disconnected from that. You know what I mean? I live in Atlanta. I don’t feel like I live in Georgia.
For what it’s worth, possums, we don’t think that Blais, despite his unfortunate and poorly chosen words to that effect, actually believes civil rights are “crazy.” We get what he was trying to say, but oh what a way to say it. Is a touch of megalomania (comparing his signature bacon ice cream and the civil rights movement in the first place) a more forgivable sin? Does molecular gastronomy have a recipe for foot in mouth?