Spanish chef José Andrés has been helping Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria from the very beginning. Not only has he been feeding the people on the island, but helping them get back on their feet. More than six months after the hurricane first landed on Puerto Rico, Andrés and his team of workers are still there.
José Andrés was presented with a 2018 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the James Beard Foundation for his relief work in Puerto Rico.
The Spanish chef, who runs the ritzy restaurants Bazaar by José Andrés and Bazaar Mar, was presented with the award in Chicago by the James Beard Foundation. The foundation exists to “celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone,” according to the website. It is named after renowned American cuisine chef James Beard.
“José’s work in Puerto Rico and Haiti shows how chefs can use their expertise and unique skills to enact profound change on a global scale,” Mitchell Davis, Executive Vice President of the foundation, said. “He has demonstrated how, at the most difficult times, hot-cooked meals provide more than nutrition, they provide dignity. José’s work serves as an important reminder of how precious and nourishing food can be. And we couldn’t imagine a more fitting honoree this year as we celebrate how chefs and our industry rise.”
Andrés’s nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, gave out 3 million meals in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
We continue to cook.. to serve.. to show up. #ChefsForPuertoRico prepares and delivers over 8,000 meals across Puerto Rico daily, reaching the most vulnerable populations with hot food in places of need… like in Comerio, where power and water still are scarce. We are cooking from multiple kitchens and dispatching daily. Join us! @wckitchen
During his acceptance speech, Andrés said “We cannot escape the reality that our destiny is feeding the many.”
His efforts at helping the less fortunate could indicate a more official kind of role.
In a new interview this week, Andrés said he wouldn’t mind becoming a senator.
— Anna Spiegel (@AnnaSpiegs) May 8, 2018
“I wouldn’t mind running for senator of Maryland,” Andrés told Washingtonian magazine on Tuesday. “I think we’re in need of shaping Congress. I consider myself a Millennial, and I think we are going to need more young people on the right and on the left, people of respect and understanding.”
Andres, who’s actually 48 and not a millennial continued by saying that Washington definitely needs someone who can take charge.
“If I don’t see things get better in terms of understanding, maybe we need a chef in the capital that can bring everybody to the table and start having these kinds of honorable conversations. We know that at a table, good things happen.”