Chicago chef Rick Bayless has been named to the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest distinction awarded to foreigners by the Mexican government. According to the official announcement (and Google Translate), Bayless was honored "for his important work in the promotion and dissemination of cultural expressions of our country internationally recognized, as is the national cuisine in general and Mexican cuisine in particular."
Bayless opened Frontera Grill in 1987 and Topolobampo in 1989, both of which are considered to be among the top Mexican restaurants in the country. He also writes cookbooks, was the winner of season one of Top Chef Masters, and is the recipient of several James Beard Awards. Congratulations, chef.