. . . undergraduate student of Spanish and Latin American culture, and then a doctoral student in anthropological linguistics.

After hosting the 26-part PBS television series "Cooking Mexican" in 1978-1979, Rick and his wife Deann, dedicated over 6 years to culinary research in Mexico, culminating in 1987 with the publication of his now-classic Authentic Mexican: regional cooking from the heart of Mexico (Morrow) which Craig Claiborne described as "the greatest contribution to the Mexican table imaginable." Released in 1996, Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen: capturing the vibrant flavors of a world-class cuisine, has been similarly embraced, including having been chosen Best Cookbook of the Year by IACP Julia Child Cookbook Awards and the Chicago Tribune. In 1999, the Baylesses along with JeanMarie Brownson released Salsas That Cook.

In 1987, the Baylesses opened the colorful, vivacious Frontera Grill in Chicago, specializing in contemporary regional Mexican cooking. In 1989 came the earthy, elegant Topolobampo, one of America's only fine-dining Mexican restaurants. Both restaurants have received awards and distinctions from, among others, Conde Nast Traveler, Holiday Travel, International Herald Tribune, Wine Spectator, Restaurants & Institutions (Ivy), Chicago, Playboy, Zagat, local newspapers and trade journals. In 1995, he and partners started the Frontera Foods line of authentic Mexican prepared food products.

Rick Bayless was chosen "Best New Chef of 1988" by Food and Wine magazine; in 1991, the James Beard Foundation voted him "Best American Chef: Midwest"; and in 1995 he won both the Beard Foundation's National Chef of the Year award and the International Association of Culinary Professional's Chef of the Year award. Rick has been inducted into the prestigious Who's Who of American Food and Drink, and in 1998 was chosen as the Beard Foundation's Humanitarian of the Year. Among many accolades, Frontera Grill was chosen by Patricia Wells at the International Herald Tribune as the third best casual restaurant in the world.

Rick has appeared widely on television and radio, including "Good Morning America," "Today," CBS "This Morning," "Martha Stewart Living", Sara Moulton "Cooking Live", and "Cooking Live Prime Time", "In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs," Home Cooking with Amy Coleman" and "Great Chefs of America."

He is a contributing editor to Saveur Magazine, and has written for many publications, including Eating Well, Food & Wine, Martha Stewart Living Magazine, Vegetarian Times, Fine Cooking, Kitchen Gardener, and Travel & Leisure.

Rick is on the board of Chef's Collaborative, a national group of chefs in support of environmentally sound agricultural practices, and has been very active in Share our Strength, the nation's largest hunger advocacy organization.

Rick resides in Chicago with his wife and daughter.

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