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Fiesta at Rick's - Cookbook Review

Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends

By Rick Bayless
(W. W. Norton & Company, 2010)

Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends cookbook by Rick Bayless

Fiesta. The word conjures up a multitude of images — dancing, community, culture, festivities, and most importantly, food. Bringing the timeless traditions of fiesta to modern American culture, Rick Bayless, author of half a dozen popular cookbooks including Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of a World-Class Cuisine and owner of the renowned Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago, has released the latest chapter in Mexican cooking, Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends.

Recipes are laid out according to a tailored plan complete with playlist suggestions, serving preparations and embellishment tips for executing the ultimate fiesta for any occasion. Bayless covers every detail of fiesta preparation and cooking, from a variety of beverages like the decadent Creamy Almond Rice Cooler and the original Champagne Margarita to dreamy appetizers (Garlicky Habanero Macadamia Nuts), savory entrées (Frontera Grill's Now-Classic Ceviche), and decadent desserts like the Impossible Cake aka chocolate flan. Even your basic Mexican favorites like guacamole and tacos are transformed into festive entrées with Bayless' innovative recipes, such as Toasted Almond Guacamole with Apricots and Grilled Pork Tacos Al Pastor served with a Drunken Salsa including tequila, chiles and orange juice.

Step-by-step instructions bring even the most difficult of dishes within the reach of your kitchen table. Abundant pictures detail and showcase the timeline of cooking from preparation to finished product and serving strategies, so that readers are sure to capture the essence of fiesta in every recipe. True to the fiesta culture, the majority of Bayless' recipes are for large parties, so heavy preparation and planning are musts!

So, here it is — the simple guide to creating the most elaborate fiesta. If you're a fan of Mexican food, planning to host a party or simply looking to create a fresh menu for a family dinner, Rick Bayless' Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends is a must-read.

Reviewed by Amanda Attwell

Try the recipe for Toasted Almond Guacamole with Apricots from the Fiesta at Rick's cookbook


Read's restaurant reviews of Frontera Grill, Topolobampo and Red O
Watch Sophie Gayot's exclusive interview with chef Rick Bayless on's YouTube Channel.

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