Rick Bayless Awarded Mexico's Order of the Aztec Eagle

The chef was honored with Mexico's highest award for foreigners
Rick Bayless Awarded Mexico's Order of the Aztec Eagle

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

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445 N Clark St (Illinois)
60654 Chicago, IL

Topolobampo refers to the port with that name on the Gulf of California in northwestern Sinaloa, Mexico. At this slightly fancier and more ambitious next-door cousin of his popular Frontera Grill, Rick Bayless serves irresistible Mexican fare of a kind not found outside some of the better restaurants of Mexico itself, if even there.

Big accolades came last night for chef Rick Bayless; the man known for his authentic Mexican eats (and winning Top Chef Masters) was awarded Mexico's Order of the Aztec Eagle for his work.

The award is a big deal; the Order of the Aztec Eagle is the highest award given by Mexico to foreigners, reports Eater. The official announcement reads (in Spanish) that Bayless was awarded the top prize "for his important work in the promotion and dissemination of cultural expressions of our country internationally recognized, as is the national cuisine in general and Mexican cuisine in particular."

Bayless' restaurants, Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, are considered some of the best restaurants in the country (he's even cooked a state dinner for President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderón). His contributions to Mexico extend even further than that; Bayless is also the host of Mexico: One Plate at a Time on PBS. While Bayless is based in Chicago, we're sure he has the best knowledge of the best of Mexican cuisine.

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