Washington, DC’s only true hero, chef José Andrés, has once again jumped into action in response to a natural disaster. Less than a month after feeding the people of Houston post Hurricane Harvey, Andrés is in Puerto Rico to help Hurricane Maria recovery efforts. The chef arrived to the devastated island yesterday, according to his Twitter feed, and quickly got to work rallying volunteers and gathering supplies to cook meals for those in need.
According to his tweets, since arriving, Andrés has secured a chicken donation and visited the kitchen at indoor arena Coliseo de Puerto Rico. On Wednesday, the chef announced that his nonprofit World Central Kitchen would provide 200 meals daily to patients at Puerto Rico’s Hospital of Carolina through Sunday. Andrés has also reached out on Twitter for help locating an 86-year-old man in Añasco, Puerto Rico, just to make sure he was okay.
Following the category 4 Hurricane Maria, food in Puerto Rico is scarce. The storm decimated the island’s agriculture, and according to the New York Times, the island may not produce its own food for a year or longer. In a statement, Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rossello called the aftermath “an unprecedented disaster” and asked that the Trump administration and U.S. Congress “take swift action to help Puerto Rico rebuild.”
Puerto Rico is just latest instance of Andrés using his platform and cooking skills to feed a community in need. Andrés, who is based in Washington, DC, founded the nonprofit World Central Kitchen in 2010 in reaction to Haiti’s devastating earthquake. In addition to providing culinary training and education, the organization has responded to disasters in Haiti, Nicaragua, Zambia, and, this month alone, Houston and Puerto Rico.
World Central Kitchen is tracking its efforts with the hashtag #chefsforpuertorico, and is soliciting donations on its website. The chef’s Jaleo restaurants in D.C., Virginia and Maryland are also donating proceeds from special menu items to World Central Kitchen, and guests will have the option to donate whatever sum they like by adding to the bottom of their check through Sunday. Andrés, meanwhile, is on the ground. Others in D.C., take note.
This post has been updated. It was first published on 09/26/17.