Rick Bayless has won eight Beard Awards, including “Outstanding Restaurant” for Topolobampoone in April 2017. His Frontera Grill has earned a Beard Award as well, and just celebrated its 30-year anniversary. Bayless’s other Chicago restaurants include: the fast-casual Xoco; Baja-inspired, wood-fired Leña Brava; Cervecería Cruz Blanca, a craft brewery and Oaxacan-style taquería; the quick-service Tortas Frontera, which changed the face of food service at O’Hare International Airport; and Frontera Fresco, which brought Frontera flavors to Macy’s stores and Northwestern University.
In 2016, Bayless opened Frontera Cocina in Walt Disney World. He’s also created an award-winning line of salsas, cooking sauces and organic chips that are sold coast-to-coast; and coming this summer, grocery store frozen aisles will feature Frontera-branded bowls and skillet meals. Bayless has authored nine cookbooks and has a highly rated Public Television Series, Mexico–One Plate at a Time.