The '90s Food Trend Richard Blais Wants To Bring Back - Exclusive

Forget Gushers, Go-GURTS, bagel bites, and AriZona Iced Tea. They're all beloved '90s food hits, to be sure, but celebrity chef Richard Blais pines after another '90s phenomenon. In 1990, The New York Times declared salsa to be "on its way to trend-setting status" and gaped over the use of papaya, pineapples, mangos, peaches, and chili oil in "up-to-the-moment restaurants" countrywide. In 1992, just after salsas had beat out ketchup in retail-store sales, market research executive David A. Weiss bravely declared that "the taste for salsa is as mainstream as apple pie these days."

It's those days that Blais wishes we would revive. He told Tasting Table in a recent exclusive interview, "I think sometimes modern chefs, we get mad at things that become ubiquitous. Because we maybe didn't create them or because everyone does them, we get offended by them," But Blais isn't miffed that there were great ideas before he made a splash on the culinary scene as a "Top Chef: All Stars" winner. He urged us, "Let's bring back grilled fish with salsa ... I'm old, so I remember the late '90s when people would do a grilled piece of fish with mango salsa, but it's delicious, especially for the summertime." Mahi-mahi, swordfish, and tuna are great tropical fish to grill, according to the chef, and he let us in on his great tips for a zesty mango salsa to top them with. 

How to make a Richard Blais-approved mango salsa for your fish

Whether you're old enough to remember when grilled fish and mango salsa captivated our culinary senses or not, let Richard Blais guide you through mango salsa basics. Your first tip from the celeb chef? Don't buy one that you'll have to eye forlornly for weeks while it ripens to perfection on your kitchen counter. "The key is obviously going to be ripe mango, right?" Blais quipped. "That's the number one thing, and it's hard to make a good mango salsa when you don't have a ripe [one]."

To compliment your mango, you add three ingredients: "a touch of" vinegar, "a little bit of red onion," and cilantro. Don't forget to use cilantro stems along with the leaves when prepping your salsa. "I like the cilantro stems ... because they actually have a little bit more flavor," Blais told us. Chop up your cilantro, mix it with your chopped mango and red onion, and voila! You've got yourself a mango salsa worthy of the '90s culinary mania that it unleashed.