Bayless recently won the title of Top Chef Master on the popular Top Chef Masters television program on the Bravo Network. As the winner, Bayless received $100,000 for his charity -- the Frontera Farmer Foundation. This is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting small, sustainable farms by providing them with capital development grants.
Bayless has written numerous critically acclaimed cookbooks, including Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking From The Heart of Mexico (William Morrow, 1987). The New York Times' legendary Craig Claiborne hailed this work as the "greatest contribution to the Mexican table imaginable." His television show, Mexico: One Plate at a Time, is currently in its fifth season on PBS.
"I am excited to participate in Isthmus Green Day and visit Madison. 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, and I understand that Madison has that in abundance," says Bayless.
Food Fight Restaurant Group is co-sponsoring Bayless' appearance. "We're fortunate to be able to help bring someone like Rick Bayless to Madison," says Monty Schiro of Food Fight "We love getting people excited about food and this is a great opportunity to do that."
Food Fight and Eldorado Grill will also host a luncheon with Rick Bayless at Eldorado Grill on April 17 starting at 11:00 am. The event will include an opportunity to meet and talk with Rick, a special menu will be featured, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to benefit REAP Food Group's Farm-to-School program. More information can be found here.
"Rick's a voice for local food and that's something we know resonates here in Madison. Some of our chef's participate in REAP's Buy Fresh, Buy Local program so we thought it was a natural fit to work with REAP to learn more about how we can take advantage of local food opportunities," says Schiro.
"As an organization, REAP has long been dedicated to building a healthful, just and sustainable food system," says Miriam Grunes, executive director of REAP Food Group. "Rick Bayless is a passionate and outspoken advocate for local and sustainable eating, and we couldn't be more excited to welcome him to Madison to participate in the day's events."
Isthmus Green Day is a family-friendly, environmentally focused festival and exposition designed to help people in the Madison community -- no matter what their circumstances -- live a greener life. The fest features hundreds of products, dozens of demonstrations and an excellent roster of interesting speakers. Expectations are high for the single-day happening, which incorporates cooking demonstrations, eco-friendly fashion, alternative health information, entertainment, food and drink, a children's area, hybrid and electric cars, a green wedding and so much more. The event hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
More information about Isthmus Green Day is available here. Isthmus Green Day is being planned with the input and support of an advisory group, whose members are from active community organizations.
Isthmus Green Day sponsors include GHC, Fresh Madison Market, Food Fight Restaurant Group, REAP, Whole Foods, Organic Valley, Vendura Industries, Calvert Funds, Madison Metro, the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center and the Madison Children's Museum. Media Sponsors include WKOW-TV and Mid-West Family Broadcasting: Magic 98 and WTDY.
Tickets will cost $5. Children under 12 will receive free admittance. Guests will also receive free admittance if they bus or bike to the event.