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Chef Rick Bayless wins Bravo Top Chef Masters

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"Rick and Lanie’s Excellent Kitchen Adventures: Recipes and Stories" (Rick Bayless, Lanie Bayless)

Boy, it’s going to be harder than ever to get a reservation at the Rick Bayless restaurants in Chicago now. But congratulations are due anyway, Rick Bayless seems like a classy dude.

Though I didn’t get to taste everything, I can truly say that the food made in that kitchen was some of the best food ever made anywhere.  Yeah, each one of us had a stumble here and there, but we weren’t in our home kitchens putting as much time as we would have liked in our prep. It was a serious, timed competition and with some of our country’s best chefs cooking the stories of their lives. I felt just as I had at the meal we cooked for each other during the first of the finals: incredibly previledged to have been there … to have been cooking there.

And now I feel incredibly priviledge to be able to bring home $100,000 to the Frontera Farmer Foundation, because lives of farm farmilies will be changed. The lives of all of us in the Midwest will be changed: the more our family farms thrive, the more local food we’ll have in our farmers markets and restaurants and the greater our sense of community and respect for our environment. Basically: the more local farms we have, the greater our quality of life.

It’s been a really long road over the 55 years of my life. From a kid who grew up in a barbeque restaurant in Oklahoma, went to Mexico with an anthropologist’s passion, then settled into Chicago with a conviction for bringing respect for the complex and varied cuisines of Mexico to American diners, all the way to fine dining–I can think of only one thing to say, my last words of the show.

[Click to continue reading RICK WON! | Chef Rick Bayless wins Bravo Top Chef Masters]

I did manage to find a reservation (at 6:15!) for Topolobampo when my sister is in town. Excited, haven’t been there in a while. Allegedly, they will be serving the menu from the show.

A little about the Frontera Farmer Foundation from their website:

The Frontera Farmer Foundation is a nonprofit organization 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

The Frontera Farmer Foundation was established in 2003 to attract support for small Midwestern farms. Rick and Deann Bayless, founders of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, along with the restaurants’ staff, created the Foundation out of their concern for struggling farmers and the importance of local produce to the vitality of Chicago’s culinary culture. Small local farms promote biodiversity by planting a wide range of produce, are more likely to operate using organic practices, and add immeasurably to the fabric of their communities. By their artisanal approach to agriculture, these farmers insure the highest quality of food.

Nonprofit organizations devoted to the growth of sustainable farming are becoming more prevalent and necessary due to the increasing dominance of large corporations in the agricultural sector. Without small sustainable farmers, great local cuisine is unreachable.

[Click to continue reading About Frontera Farmer Foundation: Frontera Farmer Foundation – Rick Bayless | Frontera]

Like I said, a classy guy.

Written by Seth Anderson

August 20th, 2009 at 11:54 am

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