Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless to Open Frontera Cocina Restaurant at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

Filed in: Dining, Disney Springs

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – Chef Rick Bayless, a six-time James Beard Foundation winner, is bringing Frontera Cocina, his table-service Mexican restaurant concept, to Disney Springs, the new dining, shopping and entertainment district at Walt Disney World Resort.

Opening in Summer 2016, Frontera Cocina will showcase the gourmet Mexican cuisine that has made Chef Bayless a culinary legend.

“I’m thrilled to bring Frontera Cocina to Disney Springs and share my passion for Mexican cuisine with the families who visit Orlando every year,” Bayless said.

The new restaurant will feature authentic Mexican specialties such as hand-crafted tortas, tacos, salads, fresh-made guacamole and classic Mexican braised meat entrees, all prepared from time-honored recipes with natural, locally sourced ingredients. Frontera Cocina also will serve an extensive selection of margaritas, cocktails and craft beers and wine.

“Working with Chef Bayless to bring this fresh dining concept to the new Disney Springs is a joy for us, and we can’t wait for guests to experience it,” said Richard Debler, president and chief executive officer of Vista Springs.

Philadelphia-based Daroff Design is designing the nearly 6,000-square-foot space, which will seat 200 guests. Vista Springs LLC will be the restaurant operator.

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About Rick Bayless
Chef Rick Bayless is probably best known for winning the title of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef Masters,” with his authentic Mexican cuisine. His highly rated, national Public Television Series, “Mexico–One Plate at a Time,” is in its 10th season. In 2012, Chef Bayless was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Best Culinary Host.

Chef Bayless has launched several award-winning Chicago restaurants. He founded the casual Frontera Grill in 1987 and received the James Beard Foundation’s highest award, Outstanding Restaurant, in 2007. The 4-star Topolobampo served its first meals in 1989. And the wildly popular, LEED GOLD-certified, fast-casual Xoco launched in 2009, serving wood-oven tortas, steaming caldos, golden churros and bean-to-cup Mexican hot chocolate. Chef Bayless’s quick-service Tortas Frontera restaurants have changed the face of food service at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, while Frontera Fresco restaurants have brought Frontera flavors to several Chicago locations. His award-winning Frontera line of salsas, cooking sauces and non-GMO tortilla chips can be found coast to coast.

Chef Bayless is the author of nine cookbooks, including “Mexico–One Plate at a Time,” which was won the James Beard Foundation Best International Cookbook of the Year award in 2001. His “Fiesta at Rick’s” is a New York Times bestseller. He has won six James Beard Foundation awards, including two for his cookbooks, Midwest Chef of the Year, National Chef of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year and Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.

About Disney Springs
Disney Springs is a one-of-a-kind Disney experience, treating guests by day and night to great dining, shopping and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs and waterfront charm. With an air of sophisticated grace and design that harkens to Florida’s waterfront towns at the turn of the century, Disney Springs is home to four distinct, outdoor neighborhoods opening in phases: The Landing, Town Center, Marketplace and West Side. When fully completed in 2016, Disney Springs will double the number of shopping, dining and entertainment venues from 75 to approximately 150. Disney Springs is part of Walt Disney World Resort, the No. 1 family vacation destination in the world, located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

About Vista Springs
Vista Springs, LLC is owned and operated by Palmas Services, LLC, a restaurant and food services company with operations in Orlando. Among Palmas Services’ related holdings is San Angel Inn, LLC, which operates San Angel Inn Restaurant, La Cava del Tequila, La Cantina and La Hacienda Restaurant at the Mexico pavilion in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort. It also owns Springs Food Services, LLC, which operates Maya Grill, Pepper Market, Rix Lounge, Las Ventanas, Siestas, Laguna Bar, and Café Rix inside Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Collectively, Palmas Services serves more than 5,000 people each day across all of their Walt Disney World Resort venues. For more than 25 years, Palmas Services has continuously sustained Mexican culture through exceptional cuisine and exemplary service.

Media Contacts:
Vista Springs: Cristina Calvet-Harrold, 407-832-4814, cristina@cchmarketing.com

Walt Disney World: Annette Gibbs, 407-566-5337, annette.gibbs@disney.com; Kathleen Prihoda, 407-828-1822, kathleen.prihoda@disney.com

Frontera, Stacy Dixon, 312-595-1624 x 110, sdixon@fronterafoods.com