Chef Digest: José Andrés

When thinking about celebrity chefs, José Andrés always seems to be top of mind. The famed Spanish-American cook began his culinary journey at 15. After enrolling in a culinary school at such a young age, he was called to serve in the Spanish military where he was assigned to cook for an admiral. Once his service was done, he began cooking at a restaurant in Barcelona but moved to the U.S. after being fired.

In the U.S., he began working at a Spanish restaurant called Eldorado Petit which became wildly popular. In 1993 was hired to lead the kitchen at a new restaurant called Jaleo in Washington, DC, and after the success of the restaurant, he helped the owners expand their reach by opening restaurants across the U.S., some having up to a month-long wait.

Image by Jaleo

In 2005, Andrés began his rise to mainstream public fame on a cooking show in Spain called “Vamos a Cocinar.” He also published his first book, “Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America.”

After publishing his book, Andrés began teaching classes at prestigious universities. These included culinary courses at Harvard University and George Washington University.

The chef is not only known for his cooking abilities but also for his charitable contributions. After the earthquake in Haiti, he founded the World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that provides healthy food to people affected by natural disasters. The NGO has provided meals in areas ranging from South America to Africa.

Image by WCK

The organization was also incredibly active after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, serving over 2 million meals in the first month. This led to the James Beard Foundation naming him Humanitarian of the Year in 2018. He also wrote a book based on his experience in Puerto Rico with World Central Kitchen.

While José Andrés is clearly an influential chef that has brought phenomenal Spanish cuisine to the U.S., he is also devoted to giving back to the community. Blending his expertise and dedication to helping others throughout his career. He has shown that his impact is felt all over.


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