José Andrés Is Recruiting Chefs To Feed Flood Victims In Houston

Dozens of restaurants and other businesses are hosting fundraisers and donating profits.

Photo of José Andrés by Evy Mages

Chef José Andrés has a grocery cart full of pasta and Prego sauce and is ready to feed Houstonians hit by Hurricane Harvey.

DC’s most famous chef arrived in Texas yesterday. His non-profit World Central Kitchen is coordinating kitchen space with the Red Cross and food donations from various Texas food companies. Andrés is also calling on others in the restaurant industry to come join him. WCK, which Andrés founded to address hunger and poverty through cooking after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, has a form on its website for professional chefs and cooks to volunteer.

The initial goal is to serve 500 meals a day, beginning today, says WCK executive director Brian MacNair, who was enroute to Houston this morning. (He and Andrés were not immediately available for interviews, but we’ll update this post with more information as we have it.)

DC-area restaurants, bars, and other businesses are also hosting fundraisers and donating profits. Restaurateur and Texas native Jeff Black, who operates some taco joints in Houston, has pledged to match donations made by his customers up to $100,000. Diners at all of his restaurants—which include Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and BlackSalt, among  others—will be able make donations on their checks or by visiting the website of the Black Family Foundation. He’s vetting multiple Texas-based relief outlets to receive the funds.

Meanwhile, the owners of DC Brau and Boundary Stone, among others, are aiming to raise at least $25,000 from the food and drink community in DC. So far, nearly 50 restaurants, bars, distilleries, and breweries have pledged to donate all or some of their proceeds on Saturday, Sept. 2 to the American Red Cross.

Dozens of others are finding their own ways to help, big and small. Check out the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s running list of Harvey relief efforts.

UPDATE: Apparently, everyone wants to help! Andrés tweets they now have all the hands they need.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.