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A Meal Fit For A Candidate: Barack Obama

Chef Rick Bayless founded the Mexican restaurant Topolobampo in Chicago.
Jerome De Perlinghi for NPR /
Chef Rick Bayless founded the Mexican restaurant Topolobampo in Chicago.

Can we learn anything about the presidential candidates from what they like to eat? As a public service, NPR asked some of their favorite chefs to teach you how to cook the kind of food that graces the candidates' plates when they eat out.

When Sen. Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, want a special night out in Chicago, they often head for the award-winning Mexican restaurant Topolobampo. But don't equate the word "Mexican" with burritos and refried beans.

Chef Rick Bayless founded "Topolo," as locals call it, almost 20 years ago to prove to Americans that genuine Mexican cooking can be as sophisticated as French and Italian.

In fact, the dishes you might find on the menu on a typical night — perhaps lobster napped with a sauce of arbol and chipotle chilies, or seared, line-caught marlin in a toasted ancho chili crust — might be too elaborate to make easily at home. Instead, Bayless urges you to try his simple recipe for an authentic Mexican street food: skirt steak tacos with smoky guacamole.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Daniel Zwerdling is a correspondent in NPR's Investigations Unit.