Rick BaylessThough many know Rick Bayless as the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, his highly rated public television series, Mexico–One Plate at a Time has earned him multiple Daytime Emmy nominations for Best Culinary Host.
Rick has authored nine cookbooks. His second book, Mexican Kitchen, won the Julia Child 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. Fiesta at Rick’s spent a number of weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.
Rick’s side-by-side restaurants in Chicago have received the James Beard Foundation's prestigious Outstanding Restaurant Award: Frontera Grill in 2007 and Topolobampo in 2017. His additional restaurants located throughout Chicagoland include ones on "Restaurant Row" and in O'Hare International Airport. His latest, Frontera Cocina, opened in 2016 in Disney Springs.
Rick has received numerous James Beard Foundation Award nominations, and has won seven, including: Midwest Chef of the Year, National Chef of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year, Who’s Who of American Food and Drink, Best Podcast, plus two for his cookbooks.
The Government of Mexico has bestowed the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle upon Rick — the highest decoration bestowed on foreigners whose work has benefitted Mexico and its people.
In 2016, he earned the Julia Child Foundation Award, a prestigious honor given to “an individual who has made a profound and significant impact on the way America cooks, eats and drinks.”
Rick leads the Frontera Farmer Foundation to support small Midwestern farms. Each year, grants are awarded to farmers for capital improvements to their family farms. To date, nearly 200 grants totaling nearly $2 million have been awarded. In 2007, Bayless and his team launched the Frontera Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship that sends a Mexican-American Chicago Public School student to Kendall College to study culinary arts. Also in 2007, Rick was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals for his many philanthropic endeavors.