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Famous Spanish chef, José Andrés, has earned critical acclaim around the world for his philanthropic work of helping those in need through food. His work is so inspiring that he was nominated in 2019 for a Nobel Peace Prize alongside other international figures: Greta Thunberg and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed Ali. Unfortunately, he did not win the award, however, this did not stop him from continuing his inspiring work with his company, ThinkFoodGroup, to execute his mission of “Changing the World Through the Power of Food.” Learn how he continues to achieve this goal, below!
José Andrés’ “#RecipesforthePeople”
From providing food to those in need such as Washington, D.C.’s firefighters, quarantined cruise ship passengers, and the citizens of Puerto Rico who were affected by Hurricane Maria in 2017, chef José Andrés once again has decided to give back in the form of hosting online cooking classes during the coronavirus to help unite people through cooking. Every evening the Spanish-American chef and founder of World Central Kitchen, a non-profit devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters, posts videos of himself and his family in their kitchen making easy to follow recipes to uplifting playlists in an effort to inspire those at home to cook a new dish.
An Admirable Man
José Andrés is known for having many talents, he is an innovative chef, an author, an educator, a humanitarian and the owner of 28 restaurants throughout the United States. In person, he comes off as someone with a serious demeanor, who is not very conversational, however, his philanthropic work speaks volumes.
His charitable work began in 2010, after Haiti suffered one of the worst earthquakes in its history, with more than 100,000 deaths and millions of people without homes, food, medicine or water the situation was declared an emergency. Chef José Andrés, launched his non-profit organization, World Central Kitchen (WCK), in response to helping countries in need, such as Haiti, to get the necessary food and water that they need during times of crisis. Some of the countries his non-profit have helped so far are: The Dominican Republic, Peru, Nicaragua, Uganda, Cambodia, Zambia, Cuba.
Millions Of Dishes Of Food
During Hurricane María, which hit Puerto Rico in 2017, José Andrés served more than three million dishes through his non-profit, an experience, he said – that truly impacted him in a profound way. In his book: “We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico,”he details his experience on the island and all of the work that was done to help as many people in need as possible. That same year, José Andrés assisted the city of Houston by serving hundreds of thousands of dishes in conjunction with the Red Cross, after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas.
Soon after, in 2020, World Central Kitchen provided food to firefighters who fought the Southern California fires and were affected by the flames. He also helped the state of Hawaii after the Puna volcano erupted in June 2018 and three months after that, his humanitarian efforts moved to South Carolina after Hurricane Florence ravaged the surrounding area. In November 2019, José Andrés spent Thanksgiving supplying survivors of the fires in Butte County, California. In the same year he also focused on helping the Bahamas, which was devastated by Hurricane Dorian. He distributed 500,000 ducks to those affected within the country.
Beyond his nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize, José Andrés has won numerous awards, including the National Humanities Medal in 2015. He was also named to Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list in 2012 and 2018, and was awarded as an “Outstanding Chef” and “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation.
José Andrés is a clear example of how success can be channeled towards humanitarian work and shows us how day-to-day work tasks can be combined with the execution of a solidarity mission to help others survive in difficult situations. ■