(PNS reporting from GRINGOLANDIA) After being awarded the prestigious Order of the Aztec Eagle by the Mexican government in June, culinary guru and TV star Rick Bayless has been selected by the National Council of La Raza as their 2012 Mexican of Year.
“Generalissimo” Bayless (as he has been dubbed by NPR’s Scott Simon), famed for swooping into indigenous communities, stealing their recipes and making millions from them, is pumped:
It is an honor to represent La Razza and I intend to make them muy, muy, MUY proud of me.
“I am absolutely floored by this, guys! Really! I mean, when I got the Aztec thing, I was like: ‘Whoa!’ But this? Man…this will really up my street cred! Viva La Razza!” Bayless said.
NCLR CEO Janet Murguía told PNS this award does not just go to “anyone” and that Bayless was selected because he matched certain criteria key to the selection process. Bayless joins other celebrities who have been previous NCLR Mexicans of the Year such as José Canseco, Geraldo Rivera, O.J. Simpson and Judge Judy.
“We were excited when he was inducted into the Aztec Eagle – we knew that this was our guy. His book, Authentic Mexican: Ways to Rip-Off Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico is one of my favorites. We are proud of to announce that Rick is our 2012 Mexican of the Year! It’s quite an honor,” Murguía said.
“Bayless’ work is the greatest contribution to the Mexican table imaginable, mostly because white people love discovering cultural things but especially when it comes from other whites!”
Bayless, who has won the hearts and minds of many pochos from Culiacán to Canada, plans to use his newfound Mexicanness to represent La Raza wherever he goes. He has even hinted at being an ambassador to the Hate State of Arizona where he feels he can do some good.
“Yeah, I’ve been mulling the idea of opening a few restaurants there for a while, but now that I’m a Mexican I am a little apprehensive. But you know what? I am not gonna be afraid. I am going to go there an open up those restaurants and damn it, I will hire some of my fellow Mexicans! If the cops there don’t like it, well, they’ll just have to look at my shiny new medal,” Bayless said.
Santino J. Rivera is an Indie Publisher/Author @ Broken Sword Publications