Meeting Rick Bayless…


©Chicago Tribune/Alex Garcia

Have you ever really looked forward to meeting someone, only to get off on the wrong foot immediately?  I was recently sent to shoot a special preview of Xoco, the new restaurant by Rick Bayless, with the understanding that I would photograph him and arrange a shoot at his house for a future Sunday story.  My wife and I have both enjoyed his show, so I was looking forward to this unique opportunity. I arrived and didn’t want to disturb him as he worked so I started photographing the scene above with the assumption that all was arranged. Once we made eye contact, however, it was as if I had crashed a party. He hadn’t gotten the message about exactly what I was doing, and was justifiably concerned that photos of his dishes would get passed around the internet before they had been finalized for the grand opening.  Very understandable, so after we came to an understanding everything went fine – although I still felt like a paparazzi... Unfortunately, or maybe it was all for the best, the later pictures at his home had to be reassigned to someone else because of a scheduling conflict…alas, these things happen…:-)

Alex Garcia


  1. This is the second first-hand encounter I’ve heard someone have with Rick Bayless that went less than swell. He sounds like he’s REALLY intense. I mean, a great chef. But, not necessarily easy to work with or to approach.

    BTW, I’m a fellow Chicago blogger and have been lurking around your photoblog for a few weeks now.

    • Hi! what you say may be true, but I sympathize with his situation – I would not have wanted me there either!…:-)

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