Last night at DC's Kennedy Center chef José Andrés became the first chef to win the prestigious Hispanic Heritage Award. Andrés took home the Design Award, "a distinguished honor presented, in exceptional cases, where an individual genuinely promotes and fosters Hispanic culture beyond his parameters through art and design." The White House established the awards in 1987, and other honorees this year include actress Eva Longoria, Voto Latino President Maria Teresa Kumar, and race car driver Juan Pablo Montoya.
According to U.S. News & World Report, Andrés discussed immigration last night saying: "We need to remember that immigrants are not a garbage bag that we use when there is [a] need to take care of [a] farm or take care of a factory, but then we want to throw them out when there is no more fruit to pick up or no more cars to produce." Andrés — who is originally from Spain — says he and his wife are only weeks away from becoming "true American citizens." Below, the press release:
José Andrés Becomes the First Chef in History to Receive the Hispanic Heritage Award by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation
Washington, DC. (September 6, 2013)— Last night, José Andrés became the first chef in the history of the Hispanic Heritage Awards to be recognized for his outstanding achievements and leadership in promoting Latino heritage. The White House established these awards back in 1987 to celebrate the creation of Hispanic Heritage Month in America and, since then, these accolades have been considered the highest honor for Latinos by Latinos.
José Andrés received the Design Award, a distinguished honor presented, in exceptional cases, where an individual genuinely promotes and fosters Hispanic culture beyond his parameters through art and design. "When we think of fine cuisine, elegance and sublime flavors come to mind. We never think of design. Well, that's not the case with José Andrés. He's taken the labor of a chef to a new level. In the process, he created a new style of cooking and a new way to help the world", said Cuban-American actor Yul Vazquez, who presented José with the award. Moved by the appreciation from the Latino community, government officials, celebrities and representatives from 50 national Hispanic organizations, José said "it is a true honor for me to receive this award that recognizes the hard work of all of us, immigrants, who are presenting and promoting our heritage outside our countries. I am humbled and very excited to learn this is the first time a chef receives such an award and to know that we are doing great things to nurture our culture and traditions through our gastronomy".
Among the honorees of the 26th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards were Actress Eva Longoria, Actor Diego Luna, Race Car Driver Juan Pablo Montoya, Voto Latino President Maria Teresa Kumar, Musical Group Los Tigres del Norte, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, and Mexican Actress Lucero. The Hispanic Heritage Awards will be broadcast on Mundo FOX on Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 6 PM.