After a devastating natural disaster, many people wonder where they are going to sleep, how they are going to rebuild, and where their next meal will come from. Over the past eight years, when people are displaced by wildfires, hurricanes, and earthquakes, chef and restaurateur José Andrés has stepped in and provided thousands of meals for those in need.
Andrés’ humanitarian efforts began in 2010 when an earthquake devastated Haiti. He created the World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization, to serve meals in disaster zones. The non-profit organization has shown up in Florida, Texas and, most notably, Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, Andrés and his team reportedly served more than three million meals.
Earlier this year, the James Beard Foundation recognized Andrés’ efforts and named him the 2018 Humanitarian of the Year.
“Because of Mr. Andrés’s work, millions of people have been fed. This is the most basic human need and Mr. Andrés has proven to be world-class in this essential humanitarian field. With an incredible spirit and an innovative mind, Mr. Andrés is solving one of the world’s ancient problems and supplying world leaders with a new road map to provide more effective disaster relief in the future.”
The competition will be tough for Andrés. Last year, the committee had 331 nominees to consider and in 2016, 376 people were nominated, reported The Washington Post. If he wins, it would be the first time a chef was awarded the prize.
When the Washington Post reached Andrés about the nomination on Tuesday, he seemed surprised. “Oh, wow,” he said during a phone call. “They nominate everybody.”
He continued, “In the end, you see that food every day is having a bigger impact.”
The Nobel Peace Prize committee will announce the winner next October.