The first event raised close to $80,000 in two days, and with all 20 $1,000 Topolobampo tickets sold and all 240 $60 Frontera tickets sold, OK Chefs Relief may well top $150,000 once the $10 Xoco donations are made. All the ticket and donation prices are suggested, and most of the attendees have given more than the minimum.
The city will make a proclamation that Monday officially be known as Rick Bayless Day in Oklahoma City at the Xoco event to show its thanks for the celebrity chef diverting his plans at the Food and Wine Show in Aspen, Colo., to raise money for those in his home state.
Since leaving the Sooner state, Bayless has built a long, celebrated career specializing in the flavors of Mexico. He’s published nine cookbooks and hosted 26 episodes of “Cooking Mexican” and more than 100 episodes over eight seasons of “Mexico: One Plate at a Time” on public television. The pop-ups reflect his three main restaurants: Frontera Grill, Topolobampo or Xoco in Chicago. He also has a few fast-casual niche concepts in Greater Chicago. He was also the first-ever “Top Chef Masters” champion.
Though he’s now a Chicagoan, Bayless is still an Okie at heart. His mother, Levita Anderson, still lives in town as does his sister, who is a special education teacher. Rick’s brother Skip is known for stirring up controversy on ESPN’s “First Take.”
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