Chef José Andrés: Nobel peace prize nominee once fought legally against Trump - Hindustan Times
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Who is José Andrés? Chef nominated for Nobel Peace Prize once fought legal battle against Donald Trump

ByShweta Kukreti
Feb 01, 2024 09:15 PM IST

Democrats nominated D.C.-based Chef José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen (WCK) for Nobel Peace Prize for making extraordinary efforts during "dark times".

Days after former US President Donald Trump nabbed Nobel Peace Prize nomination, Democrats nominated D.C.-based Chef José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen (WCK) for the prestigious award for making extraordinary efforts during the "dark and difficult times".

Celebrated chef José Andrés (AP)
Celebrated chef José Andrés (AP)

In a letter addressed to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), and others nominated the celebrity chef and his non-governmental organization (NGO) for “not only conquering hunger but spreading hope”.

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Chef Andres is doing what he can to spread the message that food relief needs to be free of the constraints of bureaucracy and institutional red tape.(AP )
Chef Andres is doing what he can to spread the message that food relief needs to be free of the constraints of bureaucracy and institutional red tape.(AP )

Andrés and his team have served over 350m meals worldwide

“Chef Andrés and his team are nothing short of heroes for humanity — not only conquering hunger but spreading hope," the lawmakers said in the nomination letter.

“Responding to natural disasters, humanitarian crises and war zones without hesitation, Chef Andrés and his team have served more than 350 million meals worldwide. During many dark and difficult moments, the impact of Chef Andrés and World Central Kitchen has been extraordinary.

“All are in awe of how, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chef Andrés quickly marshaled the effort to provide 40 million meals to feed the hungry across the world,” they added.

They also expressed their gratitude for his assistance in providing food for the National Guard soldiers in the wake of the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, for his NGO's distribution of hot meals and grocery kits to residents of Kyiv amid Russia and Ukraine conflict, and for the support that the group provided to Palestinian refugees in the midst of Israel-Hamas war.

Who is Chef José Andrés?

Andrés, who owns most-talked eateries in the Washington DC, is a native of Spain. He is a celebrated figure, having traveled with the late famous chef Anthony Bourdain on many of his food-and-travel shows.

His disaster relief foundation -- World Central Kitchen -- provides meals to victims of natural disasters. The organisation began operations immediately following the dreadful 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti.

The well-known chef, who runs multiple Bib Gourmand restaurants and a two-Michelin-star restaurant, has grown his non-profit to generate over $500 million in annual revenue in 2022.

“I cannot have my fancy restaurants and enjoy life and just stay home and watch TV when people are hungry and thirsty,” Andrés had told The Associated Press after distributing food and clean water in the Bahamas for three weeks.

“I believe in the power of cooks like me coming together to fix a problem that the big NGOs and big governments are highly unprepared to respond to, which is the most important moment, one hour after the emergency happens,” he added.

The celebrated chef has previously been nominated for this esteemed award.

In 2018, he received a nomination from John Delaney, the former representative from Maryland, for "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".

However, the 2019 prize was awarded to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia.

WCK teams are distributing meals (WCK)
WCK teams are distributing meals (WCK)

Chef José Andrés vs Donald Trump

In 2015, Andrés backed out of a restaurant agreement with Trump and his hotel in Washington after the ex-US president made derogatory comments about Mexicans.

Trump then filed a $10 million breach of contract lawsuit against Andrés' restaurant group, Think Food firm, before reaching a settlement with unrevealed terms.

Earlier this week, Republican congresswoman from New York, Rep. Claudia Tenney, proposed Trump for the Peace Prize. She mentioned the role he played in mediating the Abraham Accords, which restored diplomatic ties between Israel and several Arab countries, most notably Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

The 2024 prize will be declared in October.

Watch This video to know more about World Kitchen:

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