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Rick Bayless Biography

Most people know Rick Bayless from winning the title of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, beating out the French and Italian with his authentic Mexican cuisine. His highly rated Public Television series, "Mexico–One Plate at a Time," is broadcast coast to coast and has earned him multiple Daytime Emmy nominations for Best Culinary Host.

Bayless has 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.

His side by side award-winning restaurants are in Chicago. The casual "Frontera Grill" was founded in 1987 and received the James Beard Foundation’s highest award, Outstanding Restaurant, in 2007. The 4-star "Toplobampo," which served its first meals in 1991, earned the Beard Foundation’s award for Outstanding Restaurant in 2017 — an unprecedented feat for side-by-side restaurants. The wildly popular, LEED GOLD-certified, fast-casual "Xoco" has been around since 2009, serving wood-oven tortas, steaming caldos, golden churros and bean-to-cup Mexican hot chocolate. In 2018, Bayless and his daughter Lanie opened "Bar Sótano," a speakeasy-style mezcal bar with modern Mexican bar food. In 2016, he opened two new restaurants in Chicago’s bustling West Loop neighborhood — the Baja-inspired, wood-fired "Leña Brava" and the adjacent "Cervecería Cruz Blanca," a craft brewery and Oaxacan-style taquería.

Rick and his staff established the Frontera Farmer Foundation in 2003 to support small Midwestern farms. Each year, grants are awarded to farmers for capital improvements to their family farms, encouraging greater production and profitability. To date, the Foundation has awarded nearly 200 grants totaling nearly $2 million. 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. In 2007 Rick was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals for his many philanthropic endeavors.

Rick has received a great number of James Beard Award nominations in many categories, and he has won seven: 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 on Bayless the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle–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.”

All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Rick Bayless for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Rick Bayless speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Rick Bayless for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Rick Bayless speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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