Alfred’s Basement

chef richard james frontera grill backyard bbq fabiola arthur mullen tortoise south side chicago 3rdarm

Chef Richard and Fabiola invited me to their house for a Sunday BBQ on the South Side of Chicago. I was to be introduced to the entire gang, including Alfred, of Alfred’s basement fame. The only other folks I knew were Kyle, Chef Mel, and Chuck, of Chuck’s restaurant, who I was more or less afraid to talk to the entire time. I did manage to awkwardly tell Chuck how much I love his chili.

chef richard james frontera grill backyard bbq fabiola arthur mullen tortoise south side chicago 3rdarm

Chef Richard smoked rib tips for just under 8 hours that morning, beside the biggest tree I have seen in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin combined (I was unable to frame a photo to do it justice – it’s really unbelievable), which happens to be growing in his South Side backyard. Chef made an amazing potato salad with jalapenos as well as some sweet Italian sausage.

chef richard james frontera grill backyard bbq fabiola arthur mullen tortoise south side chicago 3rdarm

Kyle and I met Chef Richard’s core group of friends, all from the same South Side block growing up, all of whom were good people. Dave is the best at videogames. Brian introduced Richard to good hip hop, like Blacksheep, the tastemaker.

chef richard james frontera grill backyard bbq fabiola arthur mullen tortoise south side chicago 3rdarm

It was great to hang with Garfield, Richard’s brother I had never met, and of course Kelly, Richard’s brother who used to work at Xoco, who riled up their sweet tiger striped dog Chiquita. Chef Mel bucked me up with some good old school Xoco wisdom and I got a small glimpse at Fabiola’s tortoise collection… before I drove home to play Quake 2 with my friends. It was an awesome Sunday!

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