Most people know Bayless when he won Bravo's Top Chef Master by beating out the French and Italian cooks with his authentic Mexican cuisine. His highly rated ongoing PBS television series, Mexico: One Plate at a Time, is broadcast coast to coast and has earned him multiple Daytime Emmy nominations for Best Culinary Host. Bayless has nine cookbooks. His second book, Mexican Kitchen, won the Julia Child IACP cookbook of the year award in 1996, and his fourth book, Mexico–One Plate at a Time won James Beard Best International Cookbook of the Year award in 2001. Fiesta at Rick’s spent a number of weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.
His side by side award-winning restaurants in Chicago were founded in 1987. The casual Frontera Grill and the 4-star Topolobampo. In 2007, Frontera Grill won for Outstanding Restaurant by the James Beard Organization. His award-winning Frontera line of salsas, grilling sauces and organic chips can be found coast to coast. The Government of Mexico has bestowed on Rick the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle–the highest decoration bestowed on foreigners whose work has benefitted Mexico and its people. In 2016, he earned the Julia Child Foundation Award, a prestigious honor given to “an individual who has made a profound and significant impact on the way America cooks, eats and drinks.”