Rick BaylessFrontera Grill
Most people know Chef Rick Bayless from winning the title of Bravo’s Top Chef Master beating out the French and Italian with his authentic Mexican cuisine. His highly rated on-going Public Television Series, Mexico—One Plate at a Time can be found on television sets coast to coast, as well as his award-winning, eight cookbooks. In 2012, Rick was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Best Culinary Host. Rick’s second book, Mexican Kitchen, won the Julia Childs IACP cookbook of the year award in 1996, and his fourth book, Mexico—One Plate at a Time won James Beard Best International Cookbook of the Year award in 2001.
His side by side award-winning restaurants in Chicago were founded in 1987: the casual Frontera Grill and the 4-star Topolobampo. In 2007, Frontera Grill won for Outstanding Restaurant by the James Beard Organization. His award-winning Frontera line of salsas, grilling sauces and organic chips can be found coast to coast. Frontera foods also created the quick-serve Frontera Fresco’s located in select Macy’s stores in Chicago and San Francisco.
On the local front, Rick and his staff began the Frontera Farmer Foundation in 2003 to attract support for small Midwestern farms. Each year, grants are given to our local farmers for capital improvements to their family farms. In 2007 he was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals for his work with our local farmers. In 2007, Bayless and his team launched the Frontera Scholarship: a full tuition scholarship that will send a Mexican-American student to Kendall Culinary College to study the culinary arts.
Rick Bayless has won James Beard awards for: Midwest Chef of the Year, National Chef of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year. His cookbook with his now 21 year old daughter, Lanie, titled Rick and Lanie’s Excellent Kitchen Adventures was nominated for a James Beard Award as well as Mexican Everyday. Mexico One Plate at a Time is currently in its eighth season on PBS. Bayless opened his third restaurant: XOCO—a quick serve LEED certified restaurant featuring house-ground chocolate and wood grilled tortas. This year, Tortas Frontera opened in Terminal 1 & Terminal 3 at Chicago’s O’Hare airport and in downtown Chicago at the Chase Building. Rick’s 7th book, Fiesta at Rick’s (WW. Norton) spent the summer on the New York Times Best seller list. Rick’s latest book, Frontera: Gaucamoles, Margaritas & Snacks was released fall of 2012.
Rick also finished up a successful 5-week run at Lookingglass Theatre—Rick danced, cooked and brought food to life on stage in the production of Cascabel. Recently, the Government of Mexico bestowed the honor of the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle—it is the highest form of decoration bestowed on foreigners whose work has benefitted Mexico and its people.