Rick's Parents open the Hickory House in Oklahoma City

The Hickory House Bar-B-Q Interior
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From 1950 to 1987, The Hickory House was the Bayless Family Restaurant where Chef Rick did everything from sweeping floors and washing dishes to serving customers and organizing catering orders.


Rick's Mom is Featured as an Excellent Cook in a Local Newspaper

RB Parents, July 1954

It sure runs in the family!


Rick at age 6

RB 5 Years Old

A young Chef Rick smiling for the camera in his hometown of Oklahoma City, OK.


A young Chef Rick smiles for his school portrait

RB 10 Years Old

The Bayless Family All Together

Bayless Family Picture

Rick plays in his local theatre troupe

RB 15 Years Old – Summer Theatre

You can take the actor out of the theatre, but you can’t take the theatre out of the actor! It’s no wonder Chef Rick is so active in the Chicago theatre scene.


Rick Gets A Monkey

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The monkey’s name was Ponkey.


Rick Bayless and Deann Groen get married

RB Wedding Ceremony 1979 Group
RB Wedding Ceremony 1979 Cake

Before embarking on their first major adventure to Mexico together, Rick Bayless and Deann Groen get married — little would they know that in 1987 they would open Frontera Grill ten years later.

Rick puts the Finishing Touches on His Wedding Cake (which he baked himself)

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Rick and Deann begin living in Mexico

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Rick and Deann begin what will be five years living in Mexico. While there, they will travel to all of the Mexican states and cook with many chefs and abuelas, soaking up as much as possible in preparation for the release of their first cookbook: Authentic Mexican.


The Hickory House turns 35

RB Parents 35th Restaurant Anniversary

Frontera Grill is built from the ground up

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Pictured is a nervous Rick Bayless, soon to be the owner and proprietor of Frontera Grill, which, in this photograph, is still very much in progress of being built.


The Opening Party for Frontera Commences

RB Restaurant Celebration
RB Cooking in a Restaurant
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RB 1989 Frontera 1st Anni
First Cookbook Author

Authentic Mexican is Released

RB 1989 Frontera 1st Anniversary

Released soon after Frontera Grill opened, Rick and Deann Bayless’ first cookbook, Authentic Mexican, hits the shelves. Pictured alongside the authors is the cookbook illustrator John Sandford.

Frontera Grill Opens

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Frontera Grill's First Menu

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Food & Wine names Chef Rick One of America's Best New Chefs

RB Food & Wine America’s Ten Best New Chefs 1988

Topolobampo Opens its Doors


Just three years after Frontera Grill, Topolobampo has been the upscale, fine-dining sister to the rustic Frontera since 1990.


Chef Rick and Chef Richard are Chefwear Models!

RB Chefwear USA

Chef Richard (right) and Chef Rick (left) may not be wearing the outrageous outfits they have on for this edition of ChefwearUSA, but they are both still at the helm at Frontera Grill all these years later.

Topolobampo celebrates its first anniversary

First Anniversary of Topolobampo

Lanie Bayless after her christening

RB 1991

There’s a new addition to the Bayless family!


Rick Goes on The Julia Child Show


Once and always an avid viewer of Julia’s, Rick achieved a childhood dream in 1992 when he made a a rustic jicama salad with Julia Child on her iconic show. Watch the episode on PBS.


Lanie Bayless turns four

RB 1993

Chef Rick wins his second and third James Beard Awards

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RB 06_1995 Beard House Monthly Chef of the Year
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A winner of seven individual James Beard Awards including Oustanding Restaurant for Frontera Grill (2007) and Humanitarian of the Year (1998). Rick is pictured here in 1995 with his medals for Outstanding Chef and Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.

The Frontera Staff Travel to the Yúcatan

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The first of many staff trips to Mexico led by Rick and Deann.


Rick wins the 1996 James Beard Award for Humanitarian of the Year

RB 1995 Faberware Award 3

Rick's Second Cookbook wins Julia Child/IACP Cookbook of the Year


International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) names Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of a World-Class Cuisine Cookbook of the Year.


Frontera Foods is Founded


Frontera goes national, offering high-quality ingredients prepared with authentic techniques for use at home anywhere in the U.S.


The Green City Market begins in Chicago


Now a massive non-profit providing Chicago with access to some of the best fresh-grown products in the country, Chef Rick worked with Abby Mandel and the other founding members of the market back in 1999 to ensure Chicago would have lots of excellent food to choose from for years to come.


Bon Appétit Magazine name Chef Rick "Cooking Teacher of the Year"


Mexico: One Plate at a Time First Airs on PBS


Starring Chef Rick Bayless, Mexico: One Plate at at Time brought viewers on a trip to Mexico through the eyes and stomach of a young Rick Bayless. Episodes are available here on YouTube.

The Frontera Farmer Foundation is Founded


The Frontera Farmer Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, is committed to promoting small, sustainable farms serving the Chicago area by providing them with capital development grants. The Foundation envisions a year-round interchange between sustainable farmers and consumers, including farmers’ market patrons and chefs, in which seasonal local agriculture provides the foundation for sustainable regional cuisine.

“Great food, like all art, enhances and reflects a community’s vitality, growth and solidarity. Yet history bears witness that great cuisines spring only from healthy local agriculture.”
Rick Bayless, Proprietor of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo


Rick and Lanie's Excellent Adventure is Released

Publication fo Rick+Lanie’s Excellent Adventure 2004

Chef Rick Battles Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America

1.16.2005 RB Website Archives Iron Chef FN (1)

On Episode 1 of Season 1 of Iron Chef America, Chef Rick battled Chef Bobby Flay with the secret ingredient of Buffalo. Despite serving mole for his final dish, Chef Rick lost to Bobby by one point. After almost 20 years, it may be time for a rematch…


Chef Rick wins the 2006 Dancing with Chicago Celebrities Competition


In 2006, the inaugural Dancing with Chicago Celebrities Competition kicked off at the Arthur Murray Dance Center. Chef Bayless competed, won, and has been a panel judge for the competition for the last 17 years, judging nearly 100 celebrities and helping to raise $3.5 million to fight breast cancer.

Eater asks: "Is Rick Bayless the Most Interesting Man in the World?"


Read the full article here.


Frontera wins James Beard Award for Outsanding Restaurant


Chef Rick wins Top Chef Masters


In the final challenge, Rick cooked through his culinary biography – of course, including Black Mole, one of the most challenging sauces to make, which he would go on to make at the White House for President Obama.

Barbequed Quail with Hickory House Sauce, Sour Slaw and Watermelon Salad

Seared Ahi Tuna over Oaxacan Black Mole with Braised Chicken, Plantain Tamales, and Grilled Nopales

Achiote-Marinated Cochinita Pibil with Sunchoke Purée, Crispy Pigs Feet and Pickled Red Onion

Arroz a la Tumbada with Tomato-Jalapeño Broth and Chorizo Air

Chef Rick is written up in his local OKC paper

RB 8_26_2009 The Oklahoman

Restaurants run in the family!