When do you go to Frontera to eat something that isn’t Mexican food? When it’s the Frontera Farmer Foundation Festival and Rick Bayless is cooking up recipes from other star chefs like Eric Ripert and Charlie Trotter. Bayless started the Frontera Farmer Foundation to provide support for small farmers and organic farming, and the event Saturday was a spectacular tribute to that mission, beginning with a farmers market inside Frontera and Topolobampo and concluding with a lavish meal in which Bayless & crew cooked recipes from the James Beard Foundation’s 25th anniversary cookbook. Our man Huge Galdones was on the scene the whole day; here’s his pictorial report.
The day began with Frontera and Topolobampo turned into a farmers market.
Among the green things you could buy: plants from the Baylesses’ own garden.
Things to nosh on included Cilantro Edam “Cheese Sticks” and salsa verde, made with ingredients from Wellhauser Farms.
Tomato-Arugula Quiche (with ingredients from Little Farm on the Prairie).
Goose Island poured its Bayless-collaboration beer, Marisol.
XOCO Chef Shaw Lash helps Rick Bayless caramelize onions for his cooking demo.
Bayless’s cooking demo. This is closer than we were to his cooking at Cascabel.
The final product: a tasty and fiery vegetarian taco featuring foraged lamb’s quarters and stinging nettle.
Bayless introduces the farmers before dinner at Frontera Grill.
Sweet onion “fettuccini” with thyme flowers, inspired by Michel Richard.
Bagna cauda with spring vegetables for dipping, inspired by Alice Waters.
Hawaiian albacore tuna carpaccio, toasted bollilo, foie gras, salad burnet, and citrus, inspired by Eric Ripert.
Crispy-skin Alaskan arctic char, soy-orange glaze, fava beans, sweet peas, and radish salad (inspired by Thomas Keller).
Topolobampo Chef de Cuisine Andres Padilla expedites.
Seared pork belly, herby pinenut pipián, wild greens “nugget”, polenta-style tamal, and shaved fennel salad (recipe by Rick Bayless).
Carrot-coconut sorbet with ginger and orange (inspired by Charlie Trotter).
Shaker lemon pie, ripe strawberries scented with Mexican vanilla (inspired by Elizabeth Pruett and Chad Robinson).