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Watch José Andrés Deliver GWU's Commencement Speech

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Yesterday, chef José Andrés delivered the commencement speech at George Washington University in Washington, DC, the same school where he ran a class on how food shapes civilization. Andrés kicks things off wondering why he was tapped to be commencement speaker, "Even my daughters said, 'They asked you to speak or to cook lunch for the graduates?'" Though the university's president assured him he was the first call, Andrés then screened a video in which celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman, and Owen Wilson pretended to be too busy "filming" to give the address.

But in the speech that followed, Andrés explained how his career as a cook has taught him the big life lessons: the importance of laying a foundation, overcoming fear of rejection, knowing that you are only as good as the people around you, taking criticism, and dealing with life's curveballs: "If things don't go as expected, make the unexpected work in your favor. Change the name of the dish." Here, go watch:

Video: GW Commencement 2014: José Andrés

Video: José Andrés' Celebrity Friends Decline the GWU Commencement Address

· GW Commencement 2014: José Andrés [Vimeo]
· José Andrés' Celebrity Friends Decline the GWU Commencement Address [YouTube]
· All José Andrés Coverage on Eater [-E-]