On the Power of Food

When José Andrés isn't at the helm of his award-winning restaurants, he is working to feed people in need during the COVID-19 crisis at his non-profit, World Central Kitchen.

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Photo by Blair Getz Mezibov.

José Andrés is no stranger to giving back. The celebrity chef and humanitarian—who was slated to appear in May as part of the Broward College Speaker Series, an engagement that has since been postponed due to the coronavirus—understands the powerful impact of food. In addition to feeding the few at his award-winning restaurants, he works to feed many through World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit he founded to provide meals to those impacted by natural disasters and other crises.

In 2017, after Hurricane Maria devasted Puerto Rico, Andrés helped to organize the delivery of more than 3.5 million meals, an effort that earned him a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Amid the recent COVID-19 pandemic, he mobilized his charity to feed those who were held up on the Diamond Princess cruise ship and also transformed his restaurants in Washington, D.C., into community kitchens offering to-go meals for those in need. Time magazine recognized his actions with a cover story in early April.

During his talk—the date of which is still to be determined—Andrés will share stories and images from his travels, documenting work promoting clean cookstove technology; improving kitchens in urban and rural schools; and launching culinary projects to create jobs and increase opportunities for families in Haiti and beyond. Here, we highlight three more things to know about the philanthropic chef.

Fast facts:

  • José Andrés has written numerous books including his 2019 best-selling Vegetables Unleashed: A Cookbook and 2018’s We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time.
  • He’s twice been named on Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list.
  • The International Association of Culinary Professionals honored Andrés with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 and the National Humanities Medal in 2015.

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