Asturian chef José Andrés (Mieres, 1969) has been awarded this Wednesday with the Princess of Asturias Award for Concord 2021. An award that recognizes the work of its NGO World Central Kitchen (WCK), created to guarantee the supply of food in areas affected by natural disasters and that, after the outbreak of the pandemic, has also acted in the main Spanish cities.
José Andrés thus becomes the first chef to receive a Princess of Asturias Award. A recognition that many Spanish chefs have been demanding for years, but that until now had not been given, not even in the Arts category, in which disciplines such as music or literature are usually awarded.
In addition to succeeding as a chef and businessman in the United States, where he has lived since 1993, José Andrés has spent years focusing a good part of his efforts on political activism – confronting Donald Trump for his racist slogans or promoting a healthy diet alongside Michele Obama, for example. – and also humanitarian action. In 2018, in fact, his candidacy for the Nobel Peace Prize was revealed.
But José Andrés is an authentic celebrity. Magazine Time has placed him among the 100 most influential people in the world, has presented the Oscars ceremony, it is common to see him in the programs with the highest audience of US television and has also received the Basque Culinary World Prize or the Humanitarian Action Award from the James Beard Foundation.
One of the chefs at El Bulli
After training at the Barcelona School of Catering and Hospitality, José Andrés joined El Bulli de Ferrán Adriá. An experience that has marked his professional career for decades and that he has known how to adapt to the conditions of the US public. Two years ago, in fact, he opened a gastronomic space in New York (Mercado Little Spain) together with the Adrià brothers.
Ambassador of Spanish cuisine
Owner of a score of restaurants in the US (Minibar, in Washington, has two Michelin stars), José Andrés is also the current Food Ambassador of Spain, although in reality he has been acting as an unofficial ambassador for many years because he has spread the benefits of Spanish gastronomy all over the world in his restaurants, at conferences and also on television programs such as documentary series Made In Spain.
Humanitarian aid around the world
The organization World Central Kitchen, created to assist those affected by the earthquake that affected Haiti in 2010, has since acted in countless emergencies in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Zambia, Peru, Cuba, Uganda, Bahamas, Cambodia or the United States. United. A project that started with 20 cooks and has ended up involving thousands of volunteers around the world. The book We feed an islandIn fact, it tells how it was born and how it works.
Each Princess of Asturias Award, which will be awarded in October in a ceremony presided over by the kings of Spain, is endowed with the reproduction of a sculpture designed by Joan Miró, an accrediting diploma, a badge and 50,000 euros.
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Listen to Interview with chef José Andrés on Play SER