José Andrés Named 2018 Humanitarian of the YearJBF Editors
February 21, 2018
The James Beard Foundation is thrilled to announce José Andrés, multiple James Beard Award–winning chef, owner of ThinkFoodGroup, food and anti-hunger advocate, and founder of World Central Kitchen as the recipient of its 2018 Humanitarian of the Year award. Andrés will accept the Beard medallion at the James Beard Awards on Monday, May 7, at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Andrés is a committed advocate of food and hunger issues and is known for championing the role of chefs in the national debate on food policy. In 2012, Andrés formed World Central Kitchen, a non-profit that provides smart solutions to hunger and poverty by using the power of food to empower communities and strengthen economies. Together with World Central Kitchen, Andrés served over 3 million meals in Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017.
Andrés is named the Humanitarian honoree as the Foundation announces this year’s theme, “RISE,” which celebrates the community of chefs and industry leaders who rise to the occasion—whether to feed those in need, to stand up for what they believe in, to support their local communities, or to express their personal stories through their cooking.
“The Foundation is thrilled to name José Andrés as the 2018 Humanitarian of the Year,” said Mitchell Davis, executive vice president of the James Beard Foundation. “José’s work in Puerto Rico and Haiti shows how chefs can use their expertise and unique skills to enact profound change on a global scale. He has demonstrated how, at the most difficult times, hot-cooked meals provide more than nutrition, they provide dignity. José’s work serves as an important reminder of how precious and nourishing food can be. And we couldn’t imagine a more fitting honoree this year as we celebrate how chefs and our industry Rise.”
The Humanitarian of the Year award is given to an individual or organization whose work in the realm of food has improved the lives of others and benefited society at large.