Upon arriving to Chicago with barely any knowledge of the English language, Geno was selected between more 100 candidates to participate in the first program ever in United States to become a Professional Chef (1985) as part of an innovative curriculum for non-speaking English Hispanics in Bilingual Vocational Training funded by the Department of Education of US, housed in St. Augustine College. He completed his training with high qualifications and was placed as an Intern in the prestigious Frontera Grill under the direct supervision of Mr. Rick Bayless, prestigious owner and Chef. When finishing his internship (1987) due to his high qualities in the Food Service Industry and for his hard work, he was formally employed and, in a very short time, was promoted from Line Cook to Sous Chef in less than a year. During 1989-1999 he already was the Managing Chef and worked hand to hand with Mr. Bayless. Along with the Frontera Grill also the same owner opened the well acclaimed Topolobampo. Both Restaurants had extensive reviews and awards such as: Conde Nast Traveler, Holiday Travel, International Herald Tribune, Wine Spectator, Restaurants and Institutions (Ivy) Chicago; Zagat and local newspapers and journals.
Founding members of Chef Collaborative 2000 (1993) Chef Rick Bayless along with his chef de cuisine Geno Bahena and many other chefs from Chicago sign the Chefs Collaborative, a group devoted to promoting sustainable agriculture.
Geno continued his trajectory in the Food Service Industry from 1999 until 2008 when he continues to upgrade his professional experience; first as Consultant for designing the kitchen layout and menu development for the Real Tenochtitlan Restaurant in Chicago and then after he established his own Restaurants. First, Ixcapuzalco and after Chilpancingo; both as Executive Chef, owner in charge of designing menus with the taste of regional food of Mexico with many unknown and unfamiliar flavors in the Chicago area. The “mole” is a one of his preferred and exquisite part of his menus. From 2011 until 2016, Geno changed his residence and culinary experience to Malibu, California looking for a better weather with the seaside as compliment to his new task; La Costa Mission Restaurant. As in all his establishments his upscale refined Mexican dining is present in every dish he serves.
In 2013, Richard Geoffrey, from the prestige French Champagne Dom Pérignon sought Chef Geno Bahena for pairing moles with Champagne. “Magic!” “Whoo! So good!”. The same year, and for a 3-year period, Geno Bahena was nominated and recommended by his peers in the culinary field to be featured in “Best Chef America”.