WGN News Blog

"Rick Bayless Superstar" now playing at Xoco!


Rick Bayless can cook. Chicago didn't need a reality show to tell us that. Bravo's "Top Chef Masters" let America in on our not-so-secret master of all things Mexican.

His resume speaks for itself. In the late 1970's, Rick hosted the PBS television series "Cooking Mexican." He would spend time after that researching the culinary arts in Mexico. To this day Mr. Bayless still frequently travels down south, sampling authentic eats from roadside vendors and the finest chefs in Mexico. He's won the James Beard Award (like a culinary Oscar). He was one of the first chefs to open a fine-dining Mexican restaurant (Topolobampo). Last August, Rick was named Top Chef Master in Bravo's star-studded cooking show.

His latest restaurant Xoco, a quick-serve Mexican street-eats spot located next door to Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, opened just this week. The spot took two years to conceive and construct, which means Rick was in no way planning on the outpouring of popularity that has come since his "Top Chef" win. The lines for Xoco have been out the door, probably due to the fact that customers can get a taste of Bayless for just $8-$13.

I brought a WGN camera into Xoco today and grabbed a few minutes of Rick's time. He told me he's pulling 16 hour shifts this week, working the line with his new staff to make sure everything goes to plan. If you want to check out Xoco for yourself, here's some information:

449 N. Clark Street
Tuesday-Saturday, 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.
The lines might look long, but most customers are waiting 20 minutes at the most


Our feature on Xoco from tonight WGN News is above. I'll be posting my entire talk with Rick on the blog tomorrow. For now, check out Kevin Pang and Monica Eng's trip to Xoco on The Stew.