Search

Foodie Freebie Friday: Top Chef Master, Rick Bayless


Welcome back to another Monday! I hope you had a great weekend and some culinary adventures of your own. This weekend was busy for me in the kitchen where I hosted three events for What's Cookin, Chicago:
Foodie Films: Pressure Cooker - This was an independent film based on a Philadelphia culinary arts high school teacher, Wilma Stephenson and how she has helped three specific inner city students get scholarships to culinary schools around the country. We found it to be a very inspirational film that delivered quite a few messages as it pertains to public school systems and culinary arts. I encourage you to check out the film if you can. Here's a link to the trailer and detailed info on the film.
Bread Baker's Apprentice Session - We got together to bake some bread from scratch! Aligned with the Bread Baker's Apprentice challenges I participate in, members of What's Cookin, Chicago came over to learn hands-on how to make Italian Bread, Kaiser Rolls and Lavash Crackers from scratch. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to read the posts on how they came out!

In the Kitchen: Cooking Building Blocks - Not everyone in my group, What's Cookin, Chicago are seasoned home cooks and many are really interested in learning how to cook more and how to cook just enough for one to two people households. I taught this cooking class with beginner home cooks in mind and we tackled some classic dishes that allowed them to add their own style. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post with recipes of what we made!

Now to start off this new week, I'm taking readers back through time to a special night here in Chicago. Last week on Wednesday, August 19, 2009, one of Chicago's very own was named Bravo's Top Chef Master - Rick Bayless! Here's a great summary of Rick Bayless's win, from Chicagonow.com:

"The owner/chef of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo spiced up the first season finale of "Top Chef Masters" on Wednesday night, coming away with the title and $100,000 for the Frontera Farmer Foundation.

Bayless and finalists Hubert Keller and Michael Chiarello had to make a four-course meal that served as an autobiography of their food lives.

Bayless wowed the judges with his Ahi tuna smothered with Oaxacan black mole sauce.

"Mmmm," is what the judges had to say--all together--about the mole sauce, just before they called the chefs back to announce the winner.

"I don't believe this," said Bayless, who came out on top of the 24 chefs who competed this summer. "I am just totally elated ... Viva Mexico!"

Past "Top Chef" winners, including Chicago's Stephanie Izard, and "Top Chef" judges Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons helped judge the dishes.

Below are descriptions each of the four courses were supposed to be, and what Bayless created for each:

  • Create a menu of your first food memories: Bayless made barbecued quail smoked with hickory house sauce that his parents made, plus sour slaw and watermelon salad.
  • The experience that made you decide to become a chef: Here's where the mole sauce came in, smothering ahi tuna and served with plantain tamale and grilled nopales.
  • The opening of your first restaurant: His Achiote-Marinated Cochinita Pibil (suckling pig) with Sunchoke Puree and Crispy Pig's Feet scored with the judges.
  • Where you'll be heading in the future: The judges didn't enjoy Bayless' final course, a seafood dish called Arroz A La Tumbada with tomato-jalapeno broth and chorizo "air." " -- ChicagoNow

Having met Top Chef Master Rick Bayless in person and being on Chicago's WGN news together, it was great to see him win. He's an extremely knowledgeable chef who has such a passion about food, sustainability and respect for ethnic cultures, it wasn't hard for Chicago to name him a favorite contender on the Top Chef Masters competition. In honor of Chef Rick Bayless's win, this week's Foodie Freebie Friday highlights his best selling cookbook and a collection of his products from Frontera Grill, one of his restaurants here in Chicago.


A lucky winner will be receiving the following 'Mexican Everyday' gift set:


Ready to win this set? Read on to find out how...

Some guidelines:
- Giveaway is only for those who live in the United States - my apologies to my international readers!
- You must have a valid email address (within your comment or blog link) so that you can be contacted if you win.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment answering:

- What is your favorite Mexican (authentic or inspired) dish?


Deadline:
Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 12 midnight CST.

ONE WINNER will be randomly chosen by Random. Org's Interger Generator based on the number of your comment and will be announced on Friday, August 28, 2009. Good luck!

80 comments

  1. I love Mexican food! Honestly - my favorite is the simplest - chips and salsa! I could eat them non-stop. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. My fav mexican dish would have to be enchiladas! YUM! And a close second would be a good chimichanga :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Guacamole!! I could eat it as a meal!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I LOVE Mexican food! This might sound strange, but my favorite part of any Mexican feast is refried beans smothered in melted cheese. I would take that on my tortilla chips instead of salsa or guac any day!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a fabulous giveaway...I love guacamole, salsa and chips...so good.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oooh it's just too hard to pic only ONE favorite! Although it's not authentic, a great Mexican-inspired dish a big ol' Chimichanga. YUM!

    ReplyDelete
  7. My favorite Mexican dish is from a little hole in the wall restaurant in my hometown. They have the best enchiladas.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's so difficult to choose! Although I love Mexican cuisine, I don't know how much of its full scope I've tasted! I usually order tacos lengua but I will have to say that during the cold MN winters, nothing warms the tummy and soul than POSOLE and MENUDO - ooooh, now I want a bowl of either (or both!)

    ReplyDelete
  9. DH and I LOVE Mexican! Chicken enchiladas might be my favorite, but I can also snack on a good salsa and guacamole for hours!

    ReplyDelete
  10. We like to marinate flank steak and cook it on the grill - and eat it in soft tortillas with salsa, guacamole, sour cream and cheese.

    YUM!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. That's a tossup between taquitos and ceviche...I could both of them all day long! YUMMY!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Without a doubt, my mother's chicken enchiladas with green chili sauce. I could never make them like her, and she always said i took too many shortcuts trying to mimic hers. She passed away a couple years ago; before i got her recipe. I still can't make them like her, drives me crazy.

    [email protected]

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a great giveaway! My favorite Mexican dish is very simple... a nice soft taco. Yum!

    evitawylie at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Fajitas, tacos and anything topped with homemade salsa!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I would have to go with Tortilla soup. Its hard to beat the blend of summer tomatos, cilantro, and lime.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I don't feel I properly know authentic Mexican food. I am quite sure I've not had much of it in many so-called Mexican restaurants. I use to enjoy homemade tamales that were made by a Mexican lady my mom worked with.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I miss the green chile and cheese tamales at La Casita and the rellenos at La Cueva; both in Denver. I make sure I stop by every time I visit.

    ReplyDelete
  18. My favorite? Rick Bayless's chipotle chicken salad tacos!

    ReplyDelete
  19. My favorite Mexican dish is Chili Rellenos from a restaurant in MA called El Sarape.

    It consists of refried beans and rice as sides, and large green chilis with cheese, dipped in a special egg batter and deep fried. YUMMMMMM.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Shrimp fajitas...with a side of guac. Mmmm, delic!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Mango Salsa with chips flavored with lime. I eat far too much of this, love it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Quesadillas and Guacamole with Chips!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love the balance of a great guac!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Green chile chicken enchiladas. yummmmmmmmmmmm

    ReplyDelete
  25. Guacamole, chips, and salsa. Reminds me of my honeymoon!
    lashkm at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am all about Mexican food! I love it all, but think my favorite is carnitas with all the fixins! Yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  27. At the moment, my favorite "Mexican" dish is the Mexican Pasta Bake in my blog. It isn't very authentic, but it has all of the flavors I like with the comfort of the Midwest. :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Guacamole or enchiladas!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love so many different Mexican foods it would be hard to pick just one. I do really enjoy the Mexican casserole that I make. Salsa Chicken is another family favorite.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Fajitas, guacamole... just about anything with cilantro!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I would have to say my all time favorite is Pollo Fundido from a local restaurant in Lancaster, PA. It's chicken breast in a tortilla then deep fried with a creamy white sauce. So good...

    ReplyDelete
  32. I lived in Central Mexico for a year and a half and I'll be returning for 6 months this January most likely. Comida corrida is a sit-down meal of 3-6 courses that usually includes rice, soup, a main entree, dessert and some sort of flavored water, all with fresh tortillas. The best meal I had was a chayote steamed and stuffed with a creamy sauce of nuts and dried fruit. I never found it again a second time, but it was amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  33. i love chile rellenos! and chef bayless seems like such a great guy!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Puffy tacos with picadillo meat are my absolute favorite. The puffed soft corn tortilla shaped in a taco shell are delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi,

    There is an appetizer at this Mexican restaurant that I absolutely love. It's call an avocado crisp. It's a crispy, flaky top and bottom with cheese, avocado, bacon, tomatoes and onions in between. It's AMAZING.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I usually go for an enchilada or a soft taco. And don't forget the salsa and sour cream!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I love Mexican dishes!!! My favorite would have to be enchiladas!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Can I choose two? :) Chile Rellenos and Pork Tamales!
    [email protected]

    ReplyDelete
  39. I would have to say Guacamole and fish tacos are my favorite Mexican dishes

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love just about any Mexican food. Especially deep smokey flavors and lots of cilantro!
    But my favorite thing is just so simple...guacamole.

    ReplyDelete
  41. We have a Mexican restaurant that makes a crunchy guacamole - it has jicama and toasted corn nuts, as well as some mango in it. Delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I love Mexican food...guacamole, tamale's...and if the mole is good it's really good. I could go on.

    I'd love to eat at Frontera! Rick Bayless came across awesome on Top Chef, so happy to see him win!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Fajitas - yum! Great giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  44. i think enchiladas, although i make various quesadillas for my son a couple of times a week.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Barbacoa is definitely one of my favorites!

    ReplyDelete
  46. That's a tough one, since there are so many to choose from - Mexican is one of my favorite cuisines. But I love my own chicken enchiladas with onions and peppers, topped with tomatillo salsa, with a limey margarita to wash it down with.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I love to make chicken enchiladas, the kind where you dunk each tortilla in hot oil before rolling in your filling. But lately, I've been making an enchilada casserole with enchilada sauce, bell peppers, chicken, onions, chiles and cheese to get the flavor without the fat.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Chilaquiles. My husband would vote for an authentic molcajete.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Caldo de Pollo - Mexican chicken soup made with rice, chicken, pico de gallo and plenty of cilantro, then garnished with avocado. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Great giveaway! I love Rick Bayless. My favorite Mexican dish is tamales. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Mexican is my favorite cuisine! I love enchiladas and guacamole.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I personally love anything with a good mole. I also love the carne asada tacos at El Milagro in Pilsen.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I like a simple mexican cheese dip the best. Mexican- my favorite!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. I love honey lime enchiladas.......so yummy!!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I love Mexican food! My favorite would have to be tacos and churros. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Ariana from ChicagoAugust 24, 2009 at 9:17 PM

    I love a great ceviche!

    ReplyDelete
  57. I must say for me, a chimi is my favorite mexi dish! Smothered in sour cream of course! :)

    jennie748 at sbcglobal dot net

    ReplyDelete
  58. I love fajitas, tacos, margaritas, burritos, and salsa. But if I had to pick just one item as a favorite it would be cheese enchiladas.

    ReplyDelete
  59. wow, tough one to choose from! There are so many good mexican dishes that I love - and so many others I have yet to try. Probably gonna have to go with enchiladas.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I cannot pick just one thing! I LOVE Mexican food. I love chimichangas and baja-style fish tacos.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Tamales, hands down. My daughter has inherited my love as well. Her very first "real" food was a tamale and now she can't get enough!

    ReplyDelete
  62. I love quesadillas. And I was super excited to see Rick Bayless win also!

    ReplyDelete
  63. I rooted from Rick from the start--he is amazing. I love a good taco. I am partial to fish tacos with the local fish we get here but any good taco makes me happy.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I love Rick Bayless!

    I think my favorite mexican inspired food is salmon enchiladas.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I love just about any type of Mexican food, but my absolute favorite is Tres Leches cake. It's super-hard to find someone to make it well, and it is a labor of love!

    ReplyDelete
  66. I'm a sucker for Mole sauce. My current favorite is poblano chicken enchilada's with Mole sauce.

    Renee at umsl.edu

    ReplyDelete
  67. I loved watching Rick on Top Chef! His meals always looked delicious

    ReplyDelete
  68. I love guacamole! I like it with chips, on tacoes, or just licked off my fingers...

    ReplyDelete
  69. I love enchiladas, chile rellenos, and good shredded beef in just about anything.
    I was excited to see Rick win.

    ReplyDelete
  70. I LOVE LOVE LOVE salsa and could eat it with a spoon. Hmmmm, what else? Ceviche and mole are at the top of my list as well, and just basically anything else that anyone wants to be feed me!

    ReplyDelete
  71. I love Mexican food, especially sizzling fajitas!

    ReplyDelete
  72. Authentic Mexican street tacos! I lived in San Diego for a few years and would often making a run down to TJ on Saturday morning just to satisfy my street taco craving. Oh how I miss that!

    ReplyDelete
  73. You're lucky to have met Rick Bayless, he seems like a pretty cool guy! I think my favorite mexican food is authentic tacos... not the crunchy shelled, ground beef garbage, but real Mexican tacos.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Only one? Hmmm... soft shell grilled fish tacos.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I'm so jealous you got to meet him!
    My favorite, hands-down, is guacamole. And no one else in the house likes it so I don't have to share! Ha!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Great giveaway! I'm so happy for Chef Bayless. I dined at Frontera once several years ago and ordered my favorite Mexican dish. Mole enchiladas.

    ReplyDelete
  77. My favorite is a butternut squash enchilada. It was my favorite at vegetarian restaurant Seva, and I loved it to much I have recreated and adapted it at home.

    ReplyDelete