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José Andrés Named Humanitarian Of The Year (And He’s Writing a Book)

What have you done today?

Photo of José Andrés by Evy Mages

It’s official, any attempts at making 2018 your year are now totally overshadowed: Not only has chef José Andrés been named the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year, he’s also got a book deal.

You’ve no doubt heard plenty about the more than three million meals that Andrés and his team prepared for Puerto Ricans affected by Hurricane Maria, but now you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look. Set to be released in September by celebrity foodie Anthony Bourdain’s publishing line, We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time is Andrés’s personal account of how he and his team managed to make a difference in the midst of a national disaster. The book will be co-authored by Richard Wolffe, who worked with Andrés on his cookbooks and Spanish cooking TV series.

Yes, there will be a book about it, but Andrés’s work in Puerto Rico isn’t the only reason he’s been named Humanitarian of the Year. The Michelin-starred restaurateur is also the founder of World Central Kitchen, a network of chefs dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger through education and job training (a portion of Andrés’s book’s sales will go toward the nonprofit, according to a press release).

Fittingly, the James Beard Foundation’s 2018 theme is Rise, focusing on chefs who’ve stepped up to the plate through philanthropy, social justice, or self-expression. The awards gala will be held in Chicago in May.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.