About This Episode

The restaurant industry was hit incredibly hard by the pandemic. In 2020, Add Passion and Stir connected with chefs to learn how the pandemic was affecting them. We're revisiting these inspiring conversations to showcase the resilience of the restaurant industry and its commitment to service. We spoke with Chicago’s award-winning chef and Mexico: One Plate at a Time host Rick Bayless in September of 2020. At that time he was concerned about independent restaurants and advocating for federal funds to stabilize them. “If we don’t get some assistance, I’m afraid we’re going to see our neighborhoods just devastated. They are going to lose their character. Restaurants are a major part of our culture,” he explained. Bayless got involved with the Independent Restaurant Coalition, which lobbied Congress for funds to support the restaurant industry. In early 2021, the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund which provides funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. Click here to hear the original interview with Rick Bayless.    

Resources and Mentions:

Rick Bayless

Rick Bayless


Rick Bayless is the host of the highly rated PBS series Mexico: One Plate at a Time, winner of Bravo's Top Chef Masters, and owner of seven restaurants, including James Beard award-winning Frontera Grill and Topolobampo. The author of nine cookbooks, Bayless is also the recipient of the International Association of Culinary Professionals Humanitarian of the Year Award and the Julia Child Foundation Award.

The Frontera Farmer Foundation


The Frontera Farmer Foundation was established in 2003. It 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.