The life of Chef José Andrés

He's turned his New York and Washington D.C. restaurants into community kitchens amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and for years has made it his mission to feed people in need during times of crisis. This is the life of chef José Andrés.

The philanthropic chef

He closed his New York and Washington restaurants to transform them into community kitchens. He served more meals than the Red Cross in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. He has more than 30 restaurants in the world. This is José Andrés.

He learned to cook from his father

José Andrés was born in 1969 in Spain. As a child, he fell in love with cooking while preparing paellas in the forest with his father. At the age of 18, during his military service, he was assigned to the position of a cook, first for an admiral, then on an army ship. At 19, he met the famous Spanish chef Ferran Adrià, but he was fired from his restaurant two years later and decided to settle in the United States with only 50 dollars in his pocket. In 1993, he became the chef of the Jaleo restaurant in Washington and popularized tapas in the United States. At 33, he opened his own restaurant, Zaytinya, still in Washington. In 2005, his popularity grew in Spain with the launch of his show Vamos a Cocinar and the publication of a book.

He enters Time’s list of the 100 most influential personalities

In 2009, he was elected "Chef of the Year" by GQ magazine. At the age of 40, the day after the earthquake in Haiti, he decided to create the organization World Central Kitchen to bring meals to the victims. At 43, he entered the Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2013, he became an American citizen. In 2015, he plans to open a restaurant in the Trump International Hotel in Washington, but ultimately decides to give up after the presidential candidate's remarks about Mexican immigrants. Donald Trump then decides to prosecute him. The chief strikes back. An agreement will be reached between the two parties in 2017.

He receives the National Humanities Medal from the hands of Barack Obama

At 47, he receives hands from Barack Obama the national medal of the Humanities. In 2017, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico very hard. Very quickly, the chef decides to help. In all, more than 3.6 million meals will be served in Puerto Rico. In 2018, John Delaney, elected Democrat in the House of Representatives, proposed his name for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2019, it provided more than 10 million meals to victims of 19 natural disasters or emergencies in the United States and abroad. March 15, 2020, in full Covid-19 epidemic, he decided to close his restaurants in New York and Washington and transform some of them into community kitchens to provide meals for the poor.