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Frontera Fresco Opens at Norris Center

Chicago chef Rick Bayless' popular eatery will expand campus dining

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November 28, 2012
  • Official opening ceremony in January will include appearance by Rick Bayless

  • Bayless discusses must-have ingredients and more in social media Q&A with students

Frontera Fresco will open officially on the ground floor of Norris University Center at 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 30 as a new food option on campus.

The quick-service eatery's casual Mexican fare, created by renowned Chicago chef Rick Bayless, focuses on quality ingredients, using naturally-raised, antibiotic-free meats and all-natural salsas. Tacos, tortas, tamales, soups, salads and more will be featured on the Northwestern menu.   

The partnership between Rick Bayless and Northwestern was announced in September. Construction on the space in Norris Center, which used to house Sbarro, Jamba Juice and Crepe Bistro, continued throughout the fall.

Bayless has encouraged student involvement with the opening, and two Northwestern seniors -- Judy Suh and Sarah Coughtrie -- painted the glyph decorations in the hallway behind the new Frontera Fresco location.

A grand opening ceremony of the wildly popular eatery is being planned for January, and Bayless is scheduled to appear.

In addition, Bayless recently answered questions submitted by Northwestern students on social media.

Via Twitter:
 
Judy Suh (@judysuh2): What’s your personal fav(orite) at Frontera Fresco?
That’s not fair! I can’t choose favorites!
 
Mike S. (@highspeedsoul): What’s a typical dinner like in the Bayless household?
Easy, simple cooking—I usually have greens from the garden, something grilled.
 
Katie Nichols (@Hyla_Brook): Opening up on campus is a great idea.  Do you think young people’s interest in food and gastronomy is here to stay?
Yes—the world is really taking notice on where their food is coming from. It isn’t a fad.
 
Via Facebook:    
    
Olympia Asimacopoulos Bournias: Why so enamored with Mexican cuisine?
When I was 12 years old I planned a family trip to Mexico City—I fell in love and never looked back!
 
Joan French: What are the ‘must have’ ingredients you recommend stocking in the pantry for authentic Mexican cooking?
Canned chipotle chiles, garlic, white onion—you can make a really great spicy shrimp dish, or a roasted guac recipe.
 
Joanna Riester: What is the secret to a really fabulous mole? Dried fruit? Pumpkin seeds? Hershey’s chocolate? Please share!
Really good chiles. Dried chiles can be intimidating, but shouldn’t be…you just need to make sure that they are supple (not brittle) and time to prepare!
 
Michelle Maynard: Are there any areas of Mexico you have yet to explore for great cuisine?
I have been many places over the years, and there are always places to go back to -- for instance, Baja/TJ area. I hadn’t been there in 20 years and I was amazed at what was going on there food-wise. Just fabulous.