Rick Bayless Net Worth $30 Million
Rick Bayless (born November 23, 1953) is an American chef and restaurateur who specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine with modern interpretations. He is widely known for his PBS series Mexico: One Plate at a Time.
Before opening his own restaurant, Bayless began his career as a professional chef in 1980 as the executive chef at Lopez y Gonzalez in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. In 1987, Bayless and his wife Deann opened Frontera Grill in Chicago, specializing in contemporary regional Mexican cuisine, with special emphasis on the varied cuisines of the Oaxaca region. In 1989, Rick and Deann opened Topolobampo, one of Chicago’s first fine-dining Mexican restaurants. As of 2019, Topolobampo has 1 Michelin star.
In 1995, Rick and partners started the Frontera Foods line of prepared food products. They sold Frontera Foods to ConAgra Foods in 2016. Bayless remains involved as a product-development advisor to the brand. The Frontera restaurants were not included in the deal.
He was one of the founding members of Chefs Collaborative in support of environmentally sound agricultural practices and is active in Share Our Strength, the nation’s largest hunger advocacy organization. Often his TV shows emphasize responsible use of foodstuffs with focus on sustainable farming and cooking.
Rick Bayless is a restaurant consultant and teaches authentic Mexican cooking throughout the United States. He is a visiting staff member at the Culinary Institute of America and leads cooking and cultural tours to Mexico. Fluent in Spanish, Bayless favors coastal (seafood) fare and dishes that feature very traditionally Mexican and pre-Columbian Incan, Mayan, and Aztecan ingredients native to Mexico like chocolate, peppers, and vanilla bean.
Bayless and his staff also began the Frontera Farmer Foundation in 2003. This foundation was set up to support Chicago-area local farmers by offering capital improvement grants. As of 2007, more than $400,000 has been given to local family farms.
In December 2007, Bayless opened Frontera Fresco restaurant inside Macy’s Union Square store in San Francisco. He later opened Frontera Fresco restaurants inside Macy’s State Street store in Chicago, Macy’s in nearby Skokie on the campus of Northwestern University, and in Walt Disney World. The San Francisco restaurant closed in April 2014. The Northwestern outlet closed in June 2018 at the end of the school year.
In 2008, Bayless was widely considered to be a serious contender for the position of White House Executive Chef under the administration of Barack Obama.
In 2010, after having spent significant time at local Mexican dining spots, Bayless made his Los Angeles debut running the kitchen at the Red O. Bayless was guest chef for the May 19, 2010 White House state dinner honoring Mexican President Felipe Calderón and his wife Margarita Zavala.