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José Andrés on Helping Feed the World
How to pre-order 'The World Central Kitchen Cookbook'
For the past several years, José Andrés has become much more than one of the world’s great chefs and prolific restaurateurs. Since 2010, Andrés’ World Central Kitchen has arrived on the scene of disasters both man-made and natural to feed people affected by earthquakes, war, hurricanes, fire, and more.
A few weeks ago, Andrés and Andrew Zimmern held a coffee talk at the Nassau Paradise Island Wine & Food Festival. Behind a backdrop of a giant ocean sanctuary teeming with sharks and manta rays, Zimmern asked Andrés about his work with World Central Kitchen and why sharing food is so integral to his being.
Andrés said that the idea of feeding people started, for him, as a child.
Growing up, his mother never wasted a drop of food. The chef described how when would grind stale bread in the coffee grinder to make croquetas as an after-school snack for him and his brother. His father, he reminisced, would invite everyone in the neighborhood to come to eat. “If more people showed up, we would just add more rice to the pan,” he said.
Andrés then said his time in the Bahamas — and more specifically the Atlantis resort in Paradise Island — has come full circle with the opening of his restaurant, Fish, on the property.
In 2019, when Hurricane Dorian devastated many islands in the Bahamas, Andrés used the massive kitchens at the Atlantis Resort to set up his World Central Kitchen headquarters. From there, his team would prepare meals for the out islands most affected by the crippling category 5 storm, where they would be flown in by helicopter. “In the early days we were making 8,000 meals a day,” recalls Andrés, who added that over three million meals were served. Andres said that he was proud to work next to the people who worked at the resort and was thrilled at the opportunity to open a restaurant several years later.
Zimmern then asked if people are inspired by his efforts, how can they help in their communities? “Philanthropy is not about the giver. It’s about the receiver,” replied Andrés, adding that we are all doing much more than we give each other credit for. “We need money and we need time,” he said, meaning that every gesture made and every dollar donated adds up for the greater good.
If you would like to help World Central Kitchen and its efforts, consider purchasing the soon-to-be-released World Central Kitchen Cookbook.
The book includes recipes inspired by the many places that chefs have been with World Central Kitchen including Ukrainian borsch served to families on the Ukraine border and chicken chile verde prepared for California firefighters.
In addition, there are recipes by some famous friends including breakfast tacos from Michelle Obama and a lemon olive oil cake from Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. Other contributors include Marcus Samuelsson, Ayesha Curry, Reem Assil, Brooke Williamson, Emeril Lagasse, Tyler Florence, Guy Fieri, Sanjeev Kapoor, and Eric Adjepong.
The book is set to be released in September 2023, but you can pre-order a copy now. The book costs $35 and 100 percent of author proceeds benefit World Central Kitchen. Get your copy here.