of the questions I get most often is - What's it like to work at
Frontera? For me personally, I always tell people that this is my
dream job. I'm surrounded by dedicated people who are passionate
about what they do, who are always willing to help, and are generous
with both their time and knowledge. They have helped me grow and
challenge me to accomplish more. It's an amazing place to work
and that's because of the incredible people in all areas of the
company. I'm very proud of being part of this extraordinary
team. So I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone on
the team for everything that they do and have done to help me over the
last four years and here's to another great year.
answer that question in more general terms, over the next several
months, I thought I'd share a little of the behind the scenes with you
by introducing you to some of the key people responsible for all the
great food that you have enjoyed over the years.
Rick's iPhone/iPad app is being released this month. We don't
have an exact date yet, somewhere between the 10th and the 28th.
We'll announce it on the
BTW2, our newest restaurant, Tortas Frontera is projected to open in the United Terminal at O'Hare on January 16th.
Photo by Paul Elledge
Meet our Team:
Enyart, our Chef de Cuisine at Topolo. Brian has been working
with Rick since 1997 when he was hired to work on the pastry line.
He went from there to Frontera production sous chef in Frontera, to
Frontera managing chef, to his current position. This is part one
of the interview.
What's your process for creating a new dish for Topolo?
are four elements that help me craft a new dish for the menu,
seasonality, techniques that we've been working on, regional or
traditional ingredients, and how the new dish will fit into the overall
What's your favorite dish on the current menu?
That would have to be the
Ensalada de Foie Gras.
It combines the classic ingredients of foie gras and apples with
nopales, tomatillos, serranos, jicama and a pepita crunch to create a
Mexican savory dish.
What would you say is the hardest part of the job?
all the individual personalities, inspiring them to grow and
maintaining a great team, and this is the best team we've ever had.
What was the biggest challenge you overcame in getting to this position?
the organization change my perspective or at least being open to those
changes instead of trying to control the situation was the biggest
thing. The rest was a lot of hard work, trust, and being in the
right place at the right time.
What are your favorite things about the job?
staff, the creativity, new projects, and the travel all add up to the
elements that keep me continually excited. It's that variety that
keeps me going, that motivates me.
What was you most memorable restaurant meal?
would have to be El Bulli, it was the single most inspriational dining
experience I ever had. It was on a trip to Spain with Rick, Deann,
Lanie, Carlos and Richard.
Recipes from Deb's Test Kitchen:
My final recipe is an adaptation of the
Torta "Choriqueso" that
will be on the menu at "Tortas Frontera" our newest restaurant opening
in the United Terminal at O'Hare. The projected opening is
scheduled for January 16th.
Kitchen Gadget Adventures:
month it's back to basics for my pick. A good pair of kitchen
shears are essential and the one that I use are made by Wustof and
retail for under $20.00. They have a lifetime warranty, come
apart of easy cleaning, either right or left handed, and can be
resharpened. They're available wherever Wustof knives are sold or
via the internet at either
Sur la Table or
Cooking.com to name just a few.
Pay it Forward:
this time of year it's the perfect time to clean out your closets and
give away stuff that you no longer wear, here are two organizations that
can make good use of your gently used clothing and shoes.
Since its inception,
Soles 4 Soles has donated nearly 12 million pairs of shoes in over 125 countries, including donation in the USA. Their
FAQ page answers a lot of questions about the organization and how you can get involved.
Dress for Success
was founded in 1996 by Nancy Lublin with a $5,000 inheritance from her
great grandfather. While they are best known for providing suits,
this organization goes beyond that by providing career counseling,
mentoring, and a career center to provide technology training and
assistance with their job search. For more information on how to donate
or volunteer, check out their
See you next month.
Test Kitchen Director/Web Site Culinary Director
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