Rick Bayless has always been a celebrated chef, but this week, he is proving to be a Chicago icon.
Chef Rick Bayless celebrated the 30th anniversary of his iconic restaurant Frontera Grill Sunday, April 30 at the Art Institute’s Modern Wing in Chicago featuring eminent chefs around the globe. The event, in partnership with FamilyFarmed, featured a celebration with chefs hand-picked by Bayless to join. Food from top chefs such as Ming Thai, Stephanie Izard, Matthias Merges, Jason Hammel, Mindy Sagal, Michael Mina, Abe Conlon, Adrienne Lo, Josefina Santacruz and Anselmo Ramirez was served in the breathtaking wing of the Art Institute. Champagne, wine and other cocktails were served to guests as they ate and laughed their way through the all-star “food court.”
Before enjoying food from a host of premier chefs, hundreds of attendees got a chance to attend the Good Food Forum in the Art Institute’s Rubloff Auditorium. This forum was an engaging panel discussion on the future of food and was moderated by Peter Sagal of NPR’s popular show “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” Joining him was Paul Kahan, one of Chicago’s top socially and environmentally conscious chefs; Nora Pouillon of Restaurant Nora in Washington D.C. (and winner of the James Beard Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award on May 1); Fedele Bauccio of Bon Appetite Management Company; Eduardo Rivera, who produces sustainable food in Minnesota with a Frontera Farmer Foundation grant; and Jim Slama, president and CEO of FamilyFarmed.
Proceeds from this event went to FamilyFarmed and the Frontera Farmer Foundation, two organizations that promote family farming and sustainable food systems.
“We thought it was only appropriate that we use this time to give back even more to the farmers who have dedicated their lives, and risked their livelihoods, to put food on our tables,” Chef Rick Bayless said in press release.
Recently, the second such win came to a Bayless eatery again. Frontera Grill’s sister restaurant Topolobampo accepted the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards for outstanding restaurant this Monday.
About Frontera Grill
Frontera Grill was established by Rick Bayless and his wife Deann Bayless in 1987, after their extended stay in Mexico. They wanted a restaurant with authentic Mexican tastes and look. Therefore, the Baylesses selected Mexican ingredients to pack the menu, which reminded them of their travels. They decorated the restaurant with Mexican folk arts and invited Mariachi bands to perform there. This was the prototype of Frontera Grill.
In the 30 years of development, Frontera Grill has harvested several big awards in the culinary world, including being the outstanding restaurant at the James Beard Awards in 2007.