chef - Rick Bayless
Credit: Joshua Kessler

When we bumped into modern Mexican cuisine guru Rick Bayless at the tasting tent at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen this weekend, it immediately conjured mouth-watering delicacies South of the border. Here, the chef fuels the fire with his answers to our culinary questions.

Last meal on earth? It wouldn’t just be about the food. I’d want to be with people I love, eating, dancing and listening to music. There’s a place in Mexico City where I like to go—their lamb barbacoa is amazing and there are roaming bands of musicians. I want it to be a setting just like this. I’d go out with a bang!

Favorite gadget? There’s a really brilliant spoon that I use to poach eggs. When you lower it into boiling water it keeps the whole egg together without losing any of the whites. It’s from Michael Ruhlman’s line of spoons.

Favorite ingredient right now? This time of year, it’s all about greens from the farmers market. There’s one that I’ve been cooking a lot with called wild lambs quarters, known in Mexico as quelitas. It has a black kale feel to it, and I braise them with caramelized onions and red chiles. It’s great as a taco filling, especially with queso fresco or goat cheese crumbled on top.

What you’ll be sipping this summer? A Pisco Sour! It’s happy and fun and frothy.