Chef Jose Andres Responds to Coronavirus With Hope and Action

Chef José Andrés is well-known for his culinary work, but it's his charity work that has been garnering headlines in the last few years. (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Chef José Andrés is at it again.

In the same breath the founder of World Central Kitchen announced he was shutting his famous restaurants in response to the coronavirus pandemic, he said he's transforming several of them into community kitchens to feed out-of-work families and struggling workers, according to the Good News Network.

It's just the latest action by the big-hearted chef who simply arrives when disaster strikes and provides a healthy meal.

Andrés created the nonprofit World Central Kitchen after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti to match up chefs and volunteers with communities that need their culinary skills. Since then, the organization has brought meals to disaster areas in Brazil, Cambodia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nicaragua, Zambia, and the United States in regions such as Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and Florida's Panhandle after Hurricane Michael. Celebrity chefs Guy Fieri and Tyler Florence joined Andrés in Butte County, California, where they served Thanksgiving dinner to 15,000 evacuees of the Camp Fire that devastated the community of Paradise.

chef jose andres, paradise, camp fire
Chef José Andrés (left) talks with Paradise Police Chief Eric Reinbold his wife, Logan Reinbold, and daughter Hayden during a community Thanksgiving dinner at California State University Chico. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Most recently, the chef and his volunteers have also been distributing meals in the Bronx and Queens and they deployed emergency food logistics to feed three meals a day to the crew and guests of the cruise ship that had to dock off the coast of Oakland, California.

Because of the aid Andrés and World Central Kitchen have brought to those in need, Congressman John Delaney from Maryland nominated the chef for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2018. He didn't win, but the honor offered a small glimpse of the breadth of his generosity.

Stephen Wilson, culinary consultant for Swiss Chalet Fine Foods (and one of MNN's Reader's Choice 40 chefs under 40), commented about the nomination on social media.

"Let me enlighten you the beauty and power of the simple act of feeding people," wrote Wilson. "This chef, this amazing human being, saw a need in Puerto Rico a year ago and did something about it. He fed people. He did it out of love and altruism. I wish I was more like José Andrés."

Me, too, Stephen. Me, too.