From the very first day that Puerto Rico experienced not one but two major hurricanes, renowned Spanish chef, José Andrés was there ready to help. It was Andrés who fed the masses when no one else could or would.
“When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September 2017, I knew it was going to be serious—and I knew I had to do something,” Andrés wrote in National Geographic. “I had already seen what Hurricane Harvey did in Houston a month earlier, and I knew of the damage that Hurricane Irma had left in her wake. After a disaster, the urgency is all about now. It’s when people need to be fed, and cooks have a special skill when it comes to this kind of situation. We are used to acting quickly, and our job is to feed the many.”
He didn’t just feed and leave. He remained in Puerto Rico and continued to help. Now, more than a year later, Andrés is being recognized for his incredible charity.
Democratic Rep. John Delaney of Maryland has nominated José Andrés for a Nobel Peace Prize for the considerable work he did in Puerto Rico.
CREDIT: @ErinSchrode / Twitter
“Because of Mr. Andrés’s work, millions of people have been fed,” Delaney wrote in his nomination submission obtained by The Washington Post. “This is the most basic human need and Mr. Andrés has proven to be world-class in this essential humanitarian field. With an incredible spirit and an innovative mind, Mr. Andrés is solving one of the world’s ancient problems and supplying world leaders with a new road map to provide more effective disaster relief in the future.”
The Noble Peace Prize committee could not confirm the nomination because they never make any public announcements about the nominations until the winners are announced. The deadline for Noble Peace Prize nominations is Feb. 1, the Post reports, and the committee will announce the laureates next October.
The Post contacted Andrés about his nomination, to which he humbly responded by saying “Oh, wow,” and added “They nominate everybody.”
The chef’s work extends past his help in Puerto Rico, which included serving millions of meals during his time on the island. He was feeding people during natural disasters in Florida, North Carolina, and Guatemala. In 2010, Andrés founded World Central Kitchen after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, with their mission being “that food can be an agent of change.”
The news of his nomination moved those closest to him to advocate for his victory.
CREDIT: @funder / Twitter
Andrés set himself apart from others working in Puerto Rico after the disaster by sticking to what he does best. He fed people when they were hungry and without power. He spent months on the island reaching as many people as he could with warm meals.
People in his native country of Spain also praised his work.
CREDIT: @ACYRE_ / Twitter
His humanitarian efforts have been felt worldwide.
In the eyes of so many people, Andrés has already won the award.
CREDIT: @bobbysharma / Twitter
Andrés’ work speaks for itself.
His amazing work will be felt for a long time, and you know he’s only getting started.
— Pat Sanchez (@patlks5757) November 27, 2018
Do you think he should win a Nobel Peace Prize?