José Andrés’s Washington, D.C. restaurants have arguably represented the face of Spanish food in this country. Over the last seven years, though, he has increasingly turned his attention to disaster relief work through his eight-year-old organization World Central Kitchen, which last year reportedly served more than 3,000,000 meals in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. His work there and in other disaster-stricken areas is why Andrés has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019, the Washington Post reports.
The nomination was submitted by Representative John Delaney of Maryland, who declined to go into specifics with the paper. (The Norwegian Nobel Committee discourages members from talking about nominees and doesn’t release information about them until half a century has passed.) However, the Post did acquire some of Delaney’s nominating text, in which he writes that “Mr. Andrés has proven to be world-class in this essential humanitarian field” and that the chef is “solving one of the world’s ancient problems and supplying world leaders with a new road map” for disaster relief.
Most recently, World Central Kitchen has been providing meals for victims of California’s devastating wildfires. (They were there after last year’s wildfires, too.) The organization taps into the knowledge, know-how, and work ethic of local and celebrity chefs; on Thanksgiving, Andrés, Guy Fieri, and Tyler Florence fed 15,000 victims of California’s Camp Fire. Over the last eight years, World Central Kitchen has also responded to hurricanes and other natural disasters in Florida, Guatemala, Haiti, North Carolina, Texas, and elsewhere. Earlier this year, the James Beard Foundation gave Andrés its Humanitarian of the Year award.