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Rick Bayless, “Iron Chef” and TV Host, Vacations in Baja

Chef and TV Host Rick Bayless


Famed “Iron Chef” Rick Bayless, host of TV show “Mexico One Plate at a Time,” accompanied by a group of 35 of his top aides, is visiting the northern Baja California region to enjoy a gastronomic getaway and some relaxation in Tijuana, Playas de Rosarito, Ensenada and Tecate.

Bayless was in the same area in 2011 to record the entire eighth season of his television show, and apparently elected to return to re-enjoy some of the area’s cultural and lifestyle pleasures, this time bringing along an entourage that includes members of his family, as well as executive chefs Andres Padilla and Richard James from Bayless’ restaurants “Topolobampo” and “Border Grill.”

Secretary of Tourism JuanTintos Funcke noted that this is very significant for Baja California, because it demonstrates the great potential that chefs the caliber of Rick Bayless and his team see in this region, and that they recognize it as both a tourist destination and world class dining locale.

During his visit last year, Bayless emphasized the great impression made on him by Baja and its gastronomy, noting in particular the fact that the foods and wines seem to pair seamlessly in quality and flavor.  At that time, he announced he would return to vacation and enjoy Baja California.

“We welcome him today (July 3, 2012) and are pleased he has returned and will be several days touring the coastal corridor and the cities of Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada and Tecate, enjoying the local attractions, food and wine,” said Secretary of Tourism Tintos.

There is little doubt that Baja California has been high on the cultural and culinary radar screen, lately, with visitors including Anthony Bourdain, host of PBS’ “No Reservations,” among others.

“We are delighted to see the huge surge in interest about — and tourism to — Baja California by people like Rick Bayless and others,” noted Jim Pickell, CEO of Baja’s extensive travel and information network  “It’s becoming obvious that Baja is a gaining an international reputation for things like wine and cuisine, and this is attracting people, including celebrities, from around the world.”

Manzanilla restaurant's Chef Benito and Solange

Among the places that the Bayless brigade is vacationing is the famed Mexico Wine Route (the Valle de Guadalupe), near Ensenada, soon to host the Vendimia celebration of the grape harvest.  In addition, Rick Bayless and his group sampled traditional ceviche tostadas at the food truck “The Guerrense” and have been visiting several restaurants in Ensenada, including, word has it, Manzanilla restaurant and Chef Benito Molina.    A trip to the Tijuana Culinary Art School was also on the agenda.

Chef Rick Bayless will receive the Decoration of the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor given to foreigners in Mexico, presented by the President of the Republic, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, at a ceremony to be held in Washington, DC, this summer.  This honor acknowledges his important work in promoting and sharing the cultural richness of Mexico throughout the world, including focusing on Mexico’s and Baja’s culinary legacy.

His TV show “Mexico One Plate at a Time,” specializes in Mexican food and broadcast nationally in the U.S. on PBS and in several countries through cable and satellite systems. has the most extensive directory of restaurants in Baja California.  For more information about the rich heritage of foods and wines in Baja California, and a look at culinary trends in the region, visit is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.


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