Disney News

Frontera Cocina by Chef Rick Bayless Opens at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World

Hi everyone!

We shared with you in our latest Disney Springs update that Frontera Cocina opened last week. It is the new Mexican restaurant by Chef Rick Bayless and is located in Town Center. We just received a press release with more information about the restaurant and a few quotes from Chef Bayless – keep reading for more information!

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – Renowned chef Rick Bayless is introducing Florida and the Southeast to his famous gourmet Mexican dishes with the debut of Frontera Cocina now open at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort.

Frontera Cocina will delight friends, family and food lovers with exciting flavors and a contemporary Mexican experience. Warm colors, an open kitchen and a lively atmosphere frame an inviting exploration of the many delights developed by Chef Bayless, a six-time James Beard Foundation winner. Menu items include Oaxacan Red Chile Chicken, Salsa Verde Shrimp Enchiladas Suizas and freshly made salsas and guacamole. In addition, a quick-service taco counter will be added to offer guests a quick taste of Chef Bayless’ award-winning cuisine.

“For me, it is always a thrill to share the lively fresh regional flavors of Mexico with a broader audience,” Chef Bayless said.  “And what better place to do that than Walt Disney World Resort? We plan to add all the deliciousness we can to the experience for all who come to enjoy Frontera Cocina at Disney Springs.”

Executive Chef Stephen Hicks will oversee Frontera Cocina’s kitchen. Hicks has forged his career based on the basic fundamentals of simplicity, sourcing local ingredients and pursuing world-class customer service. Using these guiding principles, Hicks has served as cook and lead in the kitchens of the River Club in Jacksonville, Florida; Sapphire Grill in Savannah, Georgia; and Seasons 52 in Orlando, Florida. Hicks also spent time as a multi-unit chef in Chicago with McCormick & Schmick’s.

Chef Bayless and Richard Debler of Vista Springs, LLC commissioned the nationally recognized, award-winning Philadelphia-based firm Daroff Design Inc + DDI Architects, PC. (DDI) to create the exciting new architectural and interior design experience for the chef’s new Frontera Cocina restaurant at Disney Springs, an exciting new waterfront district for world-class shopping, unique dining, and high-quality entertainment at Walt Disney World Resort.

Chef Bayless launched his Frontera franchise in Chicago in 1981. Since then, he has opened several more award-winning restaurants including Xoco, Frontera Grill, Toplobampo, Leña Brava, Cruz Blanca and now, Frontera Cocina.


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’ 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 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. Offering 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: The Landing, Town Center, Marketplace and West Side. Nearing completion in 2016, Disney Springs has been undergoing the largest expansion in its history to double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore, which will result in more than 150 establishments. Disney Springs is part of Walt Disney World Resort, the number one family vacation destination in the world, located in Lake Buena Vista.

About Vista Springs

Vista Springs, LLC is operated by Palmas Services, LLC, a restaurant and food services company with operations in Orlando, Florida. Among Palmas Services’ related holdings is San Angel Inn, LLC, which operates San Angel Inn Restaurante, 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. For more than 25 years, Palmas Services has continuously sustained Mexican culture through exceptional cuisine and exemplary service.

About Daroff Design Inc + DDI Architects, PC.

DDI is a Philadelphia based, nationally acclaimed architectural and interior design firm with an illustrious history designing highly successful and memorable hospitality, restaurant and entertainment experiences around the world. DDI has been designing compelling guest experiences that delight Disney guests since 1988. These projects include the architectural renovation of Disney’s Contemporary Resort; the repositioning and renovation of The Land at Epcot; and, working closely with the Springs Food Service, LLC team, the original interior design for Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. DDI is celebrating its 43rd year in business.