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Chef Rick Bayless foundation pledges $170,000 to Chicago theaters

Chicago's Rick Bayless arrives at the 2016 James Beard Awards ceremony. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times

Chicago Chef Rick Bayless’ love of cooking is matched by his love for the theater, specifically Chicago’s vibrant stage community. He is often seen in the audience of local productions, and in 2012 Bayless took to the stage as part of Lookingglass Theatre’s uber-chic “dinner-theater,” circus-infused production of “Cascabel” (later remounted at the Goodman Theatre).

Bayless, whose world-renowned and award-winning eateries include Topolobampo and Frontera Grill, became a benefactor of the Chicago theater scene with the awarding of $10,000 grants to 17 local theater companies in December. The news was made public this week. The grants are the official first act of the Bayless Family Foundation, headed by Kevin Sullivan, the chef’s son-in-law.

“We value theatre that ignites conversation, extends community, and reaches to a broader audience in the service of impactful storytelling,” said Bayless, in the official announcement. There are plans for the charitable giving to continue down the road.

Here is the list of the recipients:

16th Street Theater

Remy Bummpo Theatre

Black Ensemble Theater

Bohemian Theatre Ensemble

Silk Road Rising

Broken Nose Theatre

Strawdog Theatre

Griffin Theatre

The Hypocrites

Lookingglass Theatre

Theo Ubique Cabaret

Porchlight Theatre

Timeline Theatre

Teatro Vista

The House Theatre of Chicago

Shattered Globe Theater

Raven Theatre

“Rick Bayless in Cascabel: Dining, Daring, Desire” features Rick Bayless as the Cook and Chiara Mangiameli as the Senora at Lookingglass Theatre. | Lookingglass Theatre
“Rick Bayless in Cascabel: Dining, Daring, Desire” features Rick Bayless as the Cook and Chiara Mangiameli as the Senora at Lookingglass Theatre. | Lookingglass Theatre
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