Rick and Deann Bayless hosted a benefit for their Frontera Farmer Foundation at their home this summer, raising $50,000 for local family owned farms. If you look closely, you will see our friend Kathy FitzGerald, who was one of the guests. It sounded from Kathy’s description when she was visiting here a couple of weeks ago, like it was a very memorable evening and the cochinita pibil was outstanding.
One morning, over twenty years ago, when in Chicago, I wanted to meet Rick Bayless, as his first cookbook Authentic Mexican written with his wife, Deann, had only recently been published. We had previously talked on the phone and he expressed an interest in the regional culinary trips that I was leading in Mexico, so off I went to his first flagship restaurant.
The front door of Frontera Grill was locked, no one was inside that I could see, so my intrepid husband, Fredric said for us to try the back door. We did, banged on it, and when it opened, there was a startled Rick. He served us up some tasty soup and soft tacos and we proceeded to have a long, interesting discussion. That was the first of many times over the years that I have eaten at Frontera. I only wish I could be there to celebrate the 26th anniversary of its opening. Congratulations to Rick, Deann and their wonderful staff for their efforts to present such truly representative dishes from the region we both know and love.
Over the following years, we have spent many important occasions together, Christmases in Oaxaca, birthdays, and their daughter, Lanie’s quinceañera. Thank you for being our friends. You have all enriched my life by your friendship.