Perhaps best known as the winner of TV’s Top Chef Masters, Chef Rick Bayless is the owner of highly acclaimed Mexican restaurants in Chicago, including Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, side-by-side institutions that have earned the James Beard Foundation’s highest achievement for “Outstanding Restaurant.”
His wildly popular fast-casual Xoco has been around since 2009 and Tortas Frontera at Chicago’s O’Hare airport has changed the face of airport dining.
In 2016, he opened Frontera Cocina in Disney Springs. In 2018, Rick opened Bar Sótano, a Oaxacan inspired mezcal bar with modern Mexican bar food.
Rick and his staff established the Frontera Farmer Foundation in 2003 to support small Midwestern farms, awarding nearly 200 grants totaling nearly $3 million. He also launched the Frontera Scholarship, a culinary school scholarship for Mexican-American students in Chicago and in 2019 founded Impact Culinary Training, a restaurant job readiness program on the city’s west side.
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