Rick Bayless Gala 2018-06-07T10:57:05-07:00

Put June 14th on the Calendar! 

Garden to Mexican Table promises to be the culinary event of the year.

Thursday, June 14 — 6:00 pm Cocktails & Silent Auction — 7:00 pm Tribute followed by dinner prepared by the Culinary Leadership Team

Summer Cocktail Attire  —  Valet Parking

The event will take place in the Rotunda and Grand Concourse of The Pennsylvanian in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh. Culinary tribute co-leaders Bill Fuller and Justin Severino will lead a group of the city’s finest chefs who will combine their talents to create a western Pennsylvania feast for this one time affair. Guests will enjoy a special cocktail hour with a presentation to Rick Bayless followed by a seated dinner where local farms can shine and the culinary imagination soar. The decor of the event space will be dedicated to the botanical aspects of the theme. Following dinner the guests will enjoy a dessert party and toast the culinary team that lent their talents to this unique experience.

Register for the Gala

Meet Rick Bayless

Most people know Rick Bayless as the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, beating out the French and Italian with his authentic Mexican cuisine and from his highly rated Public Television series, Mexico–One Plate at a Time. He is the author of nine cookbooks and operates numerous restaurants in Chicago where he started with Frontera Grill in 1987 and added the 4-star Toplobampo next door, both of which have been awarded Outstanding Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation. His other wildly popular Chicago restaurants include the LEED GOLD-certified, fast-casual Xoco, Baja-inspired Leña Brava and adjacent Cervecería Cruz Blanca, Fonda Frontera, the quick-service Tortas Frontera at O’Hare International Airport and Frontera Fresco at several Macy’s stores and Northwestern University. His award-winning Frontera line of salsas, cooking sauces and organic chips can be found coast to coast.

Rick has received a number of culinary accolades including seven James Beard Awards: Midwest Chef of the Year, National Chef of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year, Who’s Who of American Food and Drink, Best Podcast, and two for his cookbooks. He has also received the Julia Child Foundation Award.

He is well known philanthropically for his Frontera Farmer Foundation which grants funds for capital improvements to Midwestern family farms. In addition, the Frontera Scholarship, supports via full tuition, a Mexican-American Chicago Public School student at Kendall College to study culinary arts.

Event Culinary Leadership Team

As the fifth Pittsburgh Botanic Garden honoree, he is supported by an outstanding team of many of Pittsburgh’s best loved chefs. Read more about the preparation and dishes they will present at the Gala in this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article.


Bill Fuller, big Burrito Group

Justin Severino, CURE, Morcilla


Danielle Cain, big Catering

Dianne DeStefano, The Independent, Hidden Harbor

Julie Martin, Eleven

Brian Pekarcik, S+P Restaurant Group

Casey Renee, Whifield

Kate Romane, Black Radish Kitchen

Kevin Sousa, Superior Motors

Csilla Thackray, The Vandal

Kate Lasky + Tomasz Skowronski, Apteka

James Wroblewski, Poulet Bleu


Derek Burnell + Rob Hirst, Cantina

If you are interested in being a sponsor for the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Gala, please contact Beth Exton: 412-444-4464 (ext 223) or bexton@pittsburghbotanicgarden.org