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José Andrés on the Road, Literally

José Andrés on the Road, Literally

Back in the glory days of cigarette advertising, one brand's slogan was "I'd walk a mile for a Camel." OK. So, today, how far would you walk for a perfect potato omelette, some wild strawberries, a dish of country-style chicken with chestnuts, or a $600 bottle of red wine? If you're José Andrés, the answer is: about 160 miles.

Since medieval times, Catholic pilgrims and the otherwise spiritually inclined have trod El Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St. James — a series of routes from all over Europe leading ultimately to the city of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, in the far northwest of Spain. The St. James in question — called Santiago in Spanish — was one of the Twelve Apostles, known as St. James the Greater, or Elder, to avoid confusion with another, lesser, younger James who ran with the same posse. James the Greater was beheaded by the Romans in Jerusalem in 44 A.D., and his remains are said to have somehow subsequently found their way, for one reason or another, some 2,500 miles or so to the west to be interred in this Galician city, and specifically in the 11th- and 12th-century Romanesque cathedral that today bears Santiago's name.

Though their numbers have lessened considerably over the past century or two, tens of thousands of pilgrims still annually make the trek, or at least certain portions of it, going on foot or, nowadays, by bicycle through this corner of Spain, stopping to eat and sleep at an informal network of albergues, or pilgrims' inns, and collecting visa-like stamps on pilgrim passports along the way. Those who walk at least 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) or cycle at least 200 (about 124 miles) receive a certificate of accomplishment, or compostela; as many as 100,000 are awarded each year, to pilgrims from more than 100 countries. Under some conditions, Catholics may also be granted indulgences, basically blanket forgiveness of their past sins.


Road Trip Through Southern Spain with José Andrés, Eric Ripert and Diego Luna

What happens when José Andrés, our intrepid and insatiable guest editor, takes his pals Eric Ripert and Diego Luna on an epic Andalusian adventure? Let&rsquos just say no one leaves hungry.

A French chef, a Mexican actor and a Spanish force of nature walk into a bar.

A kitchen, actually, a shoe-box space tucked into the back of Venta El Toro, a rural bar in the white hills of Andalusia, where Maruja Gallardo suddenly contends with eight strangers huddled around, cheek by jowl, watching her fry eggs. But these aren’t any eggs: slow-cooked in olive oil, more poached than fried, with buttery whites and yolks that melt like a Spanish sunset. Gallardo perches them atop a nest of fried potatoes goosed with all manner of pig: frizzled pieces of blood sausage, browned lobes of liver, stewed shoulder and burgundy ribbons of Ibérico ham that sweats its acorn-sweet fat onto the heap.

And these aren’t just any strangers crowded into this kitchen. Among them: Diego Luna, the Mexican actor behind the coming-of-age masterpiece Y Tu Mamá También, who played, more recently, the dashing fighter pilot in Star Wars: Rogue One Rupert Friend, the British-born actor best known for his stirring turn as CIA agent Peter Quinn on Homeland and Eric Ripert, the revered chef of Michelin three-star temple Le Bernardin in Manhattan.

Check out the full menu from their travels here: 12 Essential Recipes from Southern Spain

There’s only one person capable of uniting these disparate forces around a single pan of sputtering eggs: José Andrés, the hard-charging captain of 27 restaurants around the world, he of golden heart and iron appetite and boundless love for all things Iberian. Born in Asturias and raised near Barcelona, José had to go to America to fall in love with Andalusia. In 1993, on the dance floor of Washington, DC’s Café Atlántico, he met his wife-to-be Patricia, a native of Algeciras. Since then, they’ve spent their summers on the Costa de la Luz, eating and drinking and sharing their slice of southern Spain with friends and family.

So while this group may seem unlikely to you and me, to José, it’s just another step in a lifelong journey to show the world why Spain matters. In his mind, the more unlikely the group, the deeper his efforts to spread the gospel of Espa༚ will penetrate. In the years I’ve known him, we’ve butchered pigs in Salamanca, made cider in Asturias and thrown snail feasts in the Catalan countryside𠅋ut it’s the south of Spain that continues to tractor-beam him back.

Andalusia is the second-largest and most populous of Spain’s 17 regions, with a diversity of terrain (snow-topped sierras, high-mountain desert, retirement-worthy coastline) that creates a complex ecosystem of microcuisines that would take a lifetime to fully appreciate. If you’ve traveled to this part of Spain, it’s likely been to Seville or Granada, staggeringly beautiful cities, but José’s interest lies in the lesser-traveled areas beyond the tourist track, places where he can eat and drink away the days wandering from one perfect little tapas bar to another.

The idea started simply: José and a couple of pals on a trip showing off the best of Andalusia’s less well-known corners. But José can’t be limited to three amigos, or five, or fifty. Everywhere he turns he finds friends, lifelong or just made, people who want to be swept up in his slipstream, and he wants them, too, whether they make blockbuster movies about world-destroying superweapons or flamenco music outside the village watering hole. And so it is we find ourselves elbow to elbow in a tiny kitchen with actors and chefs and writers, making egg after magical egg disappear.

But this journey doesn’t begin with an egg. It starts with a chicken𠅊 rotisserie chicken from El Asador de Nati in Córdoba, where José and I stop to fuel up for the long journey ahead. Nati, one of many traditional Spanish roast chicken spots, is special for so many reasons𠅏or its stellar version of salmorejo, the thick, cold tomato soup that hails from Córdoba for the bowls of braised oxtail that shreds into large, succulent strands and, of course, for those gorgeous bronzed birds. But also because owners Paco and Nati Morales have a long legacy in Córdoba, not least the emergence of their son, also named Paco, as one of Spain’s brightest culinary stars.

A few miles down the road, the baby-faced younger Morales runs one of Andalusia’s most exciting restaurants, the Michelin-starred Noor, a tribute to the food and traditions of Al-Andalus, the Islamic empire of the Middle Ages that made Córdoba its capital. From the geometric, medina-like design to dishes that seamlessly balance ancient flavors and modernist techniques, Noor celebrates the sensuality of Andalusia—the patterned tiles, the voluptuous curves, the notes of cinnamon, the stain of saffron. Wandering the narrow ivory corridors of Córdoba, we step into tapas bars for wedges of crispy-sweet baby romaine bathed in garlic-infused olive oil and half-moons of custardy fried eggplant drizzled in dark honey.

Properly fortified, José and I push south to rendezvous with the rest of the crew who have just flown in for the main course𠅊 full-throttle 72-hour feast in and around Cฝiz, the southwest corner of Spain that may be the country’s most underappreciated destination. Chief among the Cฝiz jewels is Sanl響r de Barrameda, a sun-drunk town teeming with sherry bodegas and exceptional seafood-centric tapas bars. At Casa Bigote, we belly up to a long bar and drink manzanilla and eat plates of slow-simmered squid and the crispy » fried fish known as pescaíto. Diego and Eric, fresh off red-eye flights across the Atlantic, attack the spread with gusto. “I’ll follow José anywhere,” says Diego. 𠇋ut I’m glad he took us here.”

We head upstairs to Bigote’s more formal restaurant, picking up another three friends on the 45-second walk from bar to dining room, where José presides over every detail of a four-hour lunch down to the peeling of the langoustines: “Start with the head, then gently remove the feet and the tail. Now suck out the brains and eat that with the sweet flesh.” (Traveling with José means surrendering a voice in virtually every decision, from radio station to crustacean extraction.) Afterward we eat white shrimp carpaccio, a rack of roast tuna ribs, salt-roasted collar of sea bream. This is a hint at what’s to come: an endless barrage of superlative seafood.

Casa Balbino may be the most quintessentially Spanish bar in all of Spain: black-and white bullfighting photos, surly bartenders, tiny waxy napkins, glasses of gazpacho dispensed from a slushy machine. Above all, Balbino pays grand tribute to the Cฝiz area’s greatest food legacy: the art of frying. We eat a bit of everything, most of it coated in flour and fried in olive oil: custardy sea anemones, crispy chunks of dogfish marinated in vinegar and cumin, a whole fried lobster. But the star of Casa Balbino, the dish that keeps José awake at night when he’s back home in Bethesda, Maryland, is the tortillita de camarones: tiny white shrimp encased in a lacy, greaseless batter that nearly levitates off the bar but packs a punch of the sea. Diego’s so excited by the scene that he FaceTimes his kids in Mexico City. José follows suit with his wife: “I promise you we’re not having that much fun.”

Just after 1 a.m., we settle onto stools at Bar Conejo for a nightcap: bowls of garlic-bombed snails washed down with rum. A night of serious eating and drinking has the conversation flowing freely, and Diego succumbs to our requests for Star Wars scoop: “I figured the director would make me speak with an American accent, but in the end, he let me speak English the way that I speak it.” Later, we wobble our way back to the hotel, leaving a trail of cigar smoke in our wake.

The next day, as we head to the restaurant Aponiente in El Puerto de Santa Mar໚, we’re worse for wear, but eager to meet Ángel León, whom the Spanish press call Chef del Mar because he’s turned an old grain mill into a sea-powered laboratory. There, he fashions cured “meats” from seafood, detonates dishes with depth charges of iodine and phytoplankton, and reimagines classics like duck à la presse with creatures from the sea. After 20 courses of aquatic innovation, we land upstairs in the restaurant’s R&D room, where León presents us with glasses of melon juice and kills the lights. In the darkness, the juice sparkles green-blue with bioluminescence. “It took us five years to learn how to capture the light of the sea, and we finally found the secret: crab dust.” We drink to the chef, to the sea, to José’s ever-expanding crew.

After two days of deep dives into the ocean treasures of Cฝiz, the team looks a bit shipwrecked. Even Eric, Poseidon of the kitchen, pleads for a break. We pack into our little red Alfa Romeo, bodies buzzing with plankton and crab light, and move inland, to Vejer de la Frontera, one of the so-called pueblos blancos—white towns—of Spain. We stop at roadside restaurants to eat slices of pork cooked in its own paprika-spiked fat. We devour those magical eggs. We wander the cobblestoned corridors of this hilltop village, drinking sherry and eating cured meat off every available surface.

José takes us to Castiller໚, down a quiet road in the shadow of Vejer, set in an open-air oasis. This is Juan Valdés’s ambitious meat-centric restaurant, based on animals he chooses himself from farms around the country. José orders the full menu, from lightly aged grass-fed beef from Galicia to a nine-year-old Portuguese ox aged until its funk hints at Cabrales cheese. At one point, somewhere between the fifth and sixth steak, the amigos nervously lock eyes, wondering how we’ll survive all this food𠅊s the chef, too busy slicing meat to notice, rains coarse crystals down on the next slab like a Spanish Salt Bae. A bottle of 2004 Vega Sicilia Unico, one of Spain’s most powerful wines, calms any concerns about the current binge.

Our meat-and-potatoes adventures prove nothing but a bridge between one watery exploit and the next. For our last push, we relocate to the coast, to Zahara de los Atunes, where José and his family spend every summer, staying at Antonio Hoteles. We set up shop at the hotel’s Restaurante Antonio, where José may as well be the proprietor, given the way he moves from kitchen to bar to dining room, shaking hands and kissing babies.

He sets to work on a dinner that showcases the full spectrum of Spain’s love of the sea: dominoes of raw, fat-rippled tuna belly caught a few hundred yards from our table crispy fried red mullet and a salt-baked sea bream served with nothing but an emerald drizzle of spicy virgin oil.

As the plates pile up, I’m waiting to see who will be the first to crack—which of these big shots will wave the white napkin of surrender and beg José for a Pepto-Bismol and a bed. But it never happens. Eric smokes Cohibas and sips rum and talks about his Buddhist leanings. Rupert devours everything José puts in front of him and muses about his post-Homeland future. (Next up, he’ll appear in the movie The Death of Stalin.) Diego, who never met a food topic he didn’t want to discuss, is all-in from start to finish: every bite, every sip, every meandering midnight conversation.

On our last evening together, José takes us on a hike up a bluff pinched between two perfect beaches, to the foot of the Zahara lighthouse. Off in the distance, the white hills of Tangier mark the entrance to Africa. He’s come prepared: a cooler filled with ice and tonic, a bottle of gin, a wicked smile. He rubs the glasses with lemon peel, drops in a few green buds of wild juniper he picked on the path down. 𠇍on’t worry—only slightly poisonous,” he says with a wink and a cheers.

Rupert jumps from rock to rock, hopscotching toward the setting sun. Diego takes a panorama shot, smiling and shaking his head, stunned by the trail of sardine bones and fino bottles we’ve left in our wake. “How did we survive?” he asks.

Squinting into the amber light, we spot the house Eric wants to rent next summer. One by one, the questions disappear, the discussions drift off, the stories fade, and for the first time in three days, we sit in silence, the only sound the whip of the wind and the song of the sea, each of us lost in the thought of what it𠆝 be like to have one more day together in this glorious place.

Finally, José breaks the silence. “So guys, next year Asturias?”

Check out the full menu from their travels here: 12 Essential Recipes from Southern Spain


How José Andrés Accidentally Became The Face Of Humanitarianism

There's a story José Andrés likes to tell about cooking with his father. We're sitting backstage at L.A.'s historic Wiltern Theater before the chef&rsquos Power Of Food event, and he's thinking back to his childhood in Spain.

José was born in Mieres, a tiny 40,000 person town on the northern edge of the country, about an hour from the coast. His family later moved to a small village outside Barcelona, and dinners were always made in their kitchen, not in a restaurant's. It was an activity José and his mother often shared &mdash except for one certain dish.

"My father made the paella," José remembers. His dad, Mariano, would cook vats of it at a time, enough to feed family, and friends, and then some. "I wanted to help, to stir the pot," José remembers, the memory still fresh. "But my father made me tend the fire."

The lesson, his father taught him, was simple: If you can control the flames, you can cook anything.

"I always ask myself, 'What's the fire that keeps you going?'"

He quickly snaps out of his nostalgic haze and comes back to reality. "I don&rsquot know if I romanticize it too much, but it&rsquos served me well," he admits. "I always ask myself, 'What's the fire that keeps you going?' Sometimes, it's not an easy question to answer."

Then, with what might be a tiny twinkle in his eye, José deadpans, &ldquoI tell that story because, obviously, being a chef, it's a very good one, no?"

It is a good story. And, yes, he is a chef. But there's more to it.

After Hurricane Maria, the category 5 monster storm that hit Puerto Rico last September, José landed on the island before anyone else &mdash including the U.S.'s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). When disaster strikes, he's the second day story &mdash in Los Angeles, providing relief to those affected by the Thomas Fire, California's largest wildfire on record, or in Montecito, CA, where mudslides recently destroyed more than 100 homes.

José doesn't bemoan the flames anymore. He's runs to them.

José might be the most famous chef you don't know. He's never judged a Food Network cooking show, and there are no memes about his style (though his signature vest is begging for its own Instagram account). But he's the force behind 33 restaurants, in D.C., Los Angeles, Las Vegas, even Mexico City and his circle of friends is a who's who of the culinary world: the late Anthony Bourdain, David Chang, Andrew Zimmern. He's Spain's golden boy, stopped for pictures on the street.

The past two years have been a period of rebirth for José, though, spent not only cooking meals, but cooking up plots to save the world, too. He's not just a chef anymore. José's also a quasi-politician, and he's one of Time's Most Influential People of 2018. He&rsquos a humanitarian, too &mdash the Humanitarian of the Year, according to the James Beard House.

But all that acclaim &mdash eh, he could take it or leave it.

"It seems like there&rsquos a little too much 'I'," José says. "We need to start using three words that are part of the DNA of America. It's not about 'I, the person.' It&rsquos about 'we, the people.'"

And José wonders why people think he should run for office.

There's a spotlight shining on José &mdash literally &mdash as he takes the stage for his event, but even then, he doesn't want to be in it. He's standing in front of the hundreds of people who have come to see him speak, asking to make the focus more about the people he's helping, not the help he's giving them. "Don't just clap like seals when I walk out here," he tells them. "Do something when you leave this building."

Changing the world through the power of food has always been José's mantra &mdash he's just doing it differently than he used to.

José moved from Spain to the U.S. in 1991, landing in New York City before heading to D.C. two years later. That's where he opened Jaleo. If you haven't heard of the restaurant, you've experienced it's effect. José's Spanish small plates spot is likely the reason you know what tapas are. That first D.C. location is still thriving &mdash as are the four other outposts that came in the years that followed. (Another Jaleo is opening in Disney Springs soon.)

"When I started, the nights were empty in downtown D.C.," José remembers. "There was nobody on the street." Jaleo was his way in &mdash "to reach a place nobody else had."

That's all it takes, José contends: "Just by opening a restaurant in a new neighborhood, you&rsquore becoming an agent of change. So really, I&rsquom not doing anything differently today than I was 25 years ago. It just seems like it's become fashionable in our industry to do and to speak about these things."

Robert Egger, José's Power of Food co-host and a member on the board of his nonprofit, World Central Kitchen (WCK), has a better way of putting it, José says: "Twenty-first century charity seems to be about the redemption of the giver instead of what it should be about: the liberation of the receiver."

But José is humble, not stupid. He knows attention can equal support. So instead of promoting a brand &mdash like that of "The Charitable Chef" &mdash through interviews, José let Instagram serve as his voice post-hurricane. In the two months that followed Maria, the chef posted 161 photos from Puerto Rico. Each image or video &mdash even the ones filmed sideways, with shots up José's nose &mdash garnered more attention, which led to more help.

As of November, José and his crew at WCK had served 3 million meals to the disaster-stricken region &mdash a number the U.S. government didn't even come close to hitting. FEMA had a contract for 30 million meals only 50,000 made it to Puerto Rico.

José planned to stay in Puerto Rico for five days, but you know what they say about the best laid plans. "I ended up putting my life on hold for months. My wife and children were like, 'What the heck is going on?'. But it wasn't just me who did that. By the end, we had 20,000 people helping."

Now he's writing a book, due out in September &mdash We Fed An Island, one of the last texts from Anthony Bourdain's HarperCollins imprint that'll hit shelves &mdash about the experience. "Days were long, and I cried a lot at nights. I remember hearing after Hurricane Katrina, this will never happen again. But it did happen again. And this time, it happened on an entire island. I hope we can come up with ideas for how to do this better next time."

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José talks about "we" and "next time," even though disaster relief wasn't one of WCK's founding principles. Yes, he started it in the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, but the site's mission statement is this: to create smart solutions to end hunger and poverty. WCK has bettered cafeterias in Zambia. The organization created a culinary school in Haiti. José helped fund a women-led honey company in the Dominican Republic.

"We were not supposed to be in a disaster zone again &mdash and there we were," José sighs. "But we can't randomly decide what's worth our effort and what's not. Emergency means now, and anything is beyond now is too late."

"I&rsquom like the little mermaid &mdash but no so little."

Throughout our conversation, José's face is mostly scrunched, concentrating on his message &mdash and the language. "Maybe now I'm able to, I don't know, explain my ideas better? Maybe they understand my English finally," he jokes about his transition from a charitable chef to the charitable chef.

But José's furrowed brow loosens when he talks about his family. He's been married to his wife Patricia for almost 23 years, and together they have three daughters: Carlota (19), Ines (17), and Lucia (14). "They are a big reason I do what I do," he admits.

Even when José isn't 'doing what he does' &mdash hopping from one disaster-stricken area to another &mdash he's not sitting still. He's in Virginia wine country or he's dozens of feet below the surface of the Atlantic. "I love to get lost in the water with my wife, scuba diving for hours at a time," he says.

Then there&rsquos the twinkle in his eye again. "I&rsquom like the little mermaid &mdash but no so little."

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How to Cook a Human with Hannibal's Bryan Fuller and Chef Jose Andres

Hannibal is without a doubt the most appetizing scripted show on television, all thanks to creator Bryan Fuller and culinary consultant Chef Jose Andres. The showrunner and chef spoke to TVGuide.com about how they make human meat look so tasty and what sets Dr. Lecter (Mads Mikkelson) apart from your average cannibal.

Hannibal is without a doubt the most appetizing scripted show on television, all thanks to creator Bryan Fuller and culinary consultant Chef Jose Andres. The showrunner and chef spoke to TVGuide.com about how they make human meat look so tasty and what sets Dr. Lecter (Mads Mikkelson) apart from your average cannibal.

When Fuller got the opportunity to do Hannibal, Andres was one of the first phone calls he made. In fact, the famed chef isn't just the show's culinary consultant — he helped inspire the small-screen adaptation of the titular cannibal! "I had seen [Andres] talk about food and how passionate he was and articulate he was . and he had such an enthusiasm that I thought Hannibal Lecter should have a similar passion for food that Jose had," Fuller told TVGuide.com. While most would balk at being compared to a murderer, Andres not only relates to Hannibal (while referencing the last scene in Anthony Hopkins' big-screen Hannibal he mused, "Holy cow, this could be me!"), but believes there's something innate in human DNA that attracts us to blood. "Every time we cut our finger one of the things we do . is we take the finger to our mouth and kind of we suck the blood," Andres explained. "When I cut it, I'm like, 'Mmm, this is sweet man. I'm tasty!'"

Both Fuller and Andres try to focus on Hannibal as a chef and gourmand, instead of a people-eater. "What he does overnight is not my problem," Andres said. "I didn't create the dishes thinking in the negative side of 'What did he kill?' No, I created in the positive side . so I had this amazing opportunity to dream of the life of Hannibal from the good perspective, even if he has a dark side."

Fuller explained that this is the same attitude Hannibal brings to his unique hobby. "He doesn't see himself as a cannibal. He sees himself as consuming cattle, or cattle-grade people," Fuller said. "I think serial killers and cannibals, part of what is fetishistic about them is the taboo of 'You do not eat your fellow man.' But Hannibal does not see his victims as fellow men he sees them as less than [human]."

Yet for viewers, Hannibal still manages to be a very sympathetic protagonist. "He's still a villain and he's still a devil," Fuller allowed. "I think what makes it sort of likeable is that we all have that innate frustration with our fellow man — and ourselves — whenever we lose control or go rude. He just has a very punitive take on how the rude amongst us should be handled."

How Hannibal handles the rude people is, of course, eating them. And while we can all agree killing and eating people is bad (very, very bad), that doesn't mean it can't also look damn tasty! "You can hear our stomachs rumble when we're cutting these scenes together because the food looks so good," Fuller said. This complicated dichotomy between the mouth-watering aesthetics of Hannibal's dishes and the grisly knowledge of what they are is one of Hannibal's strongest features, allowing viewers to indulge in a perverse pleasure typically forbidden to them. "There's something fascinating introducing a very confusing, yet tantalizing element to cooking where you are what you eat. Quite literally sometimes." Though, Fuller clarifies that simply because Hannibal "eats the rude" doesn't mean that makes him rude by association. "I think he digests them," Fuller explained. "He's got a good fiber diet, so nothing sticks. The train keeps moving as it were."

Hungry for more? Check out the stories behind Hannibal's most memorable dishes:

Lung, Episode 1: According to Andres, the entire human body is consumable, and it's no coincidence the lungs are the first piece of offal we see Hannibal cook. They would be Andres' first choice to prepare from a human, as well. Specifically, the lungs of a smoker. "We're looking at a human being as a bioorganic crock pot that is smoking itself for our dining pleasure," explained Fuller. "It felt like it checked off all the boxes of Hannibal Lecter: [Smoking is] a rude habit and there's also an added benefit of that rude habit providing a unique smokey flavor for the tissue."

But as appetizing and beautifully prepared as the lungs were, Fuller notes the ghoulish quality to watching Hannibal squeeze the air out during his prep. "We all sort of feel in horror movies and in these horror situations that tightness in your chest and that [feeling] like, 'Oh my gosh. That's so startling, I can't breathe.' Then we take that concept . and put in on the kitchen counter," Fuller said. "There's something about those things that go into adrenal overdrive when our life is threatened and then we see that they're just another beautifully prepared dish on Hannibal's table."

Loin, Episode 2: While Hannibal's supposed "pork" loin might be the most familiar, and therefore one of the least disturbing, dishes served, Fuller has a very different take. "There's something about the flesh of our backs being served up to Hannibal's guests being something so disturbing because it's coming at us from behind," Fuller said. "In my fandom for horror movies there's no greater scene than seeing a character and seeing something horrible coming up from behind that you see before they do. And so this loin dish is kind of an homage to those classic scenes."

Foie gras, Episode 4: Fuller and Andres' collaboration goes far beyond the dishes Hannibal serves to his unwitting guests. In addition to selecting wines and even providing a signed copy of famed French culinary guide Escoffier to use as a prop, Andres gives crucial input to help shape the dialogue and inspired a conversation about foie gras, a delicacy that requires the force-feeding of ducks and geese to create a fattier (and tastier) liver. "In [the script for Episode 4], I suggested that one of the talks had to happen to show how food-intellectual Hannibal was," Andres said. "You know, bringing the conversation about, 'Is foie gras humane or inhumane?'" Though he added that when discussing human foie gras, "the answer is obvious."

Tongue, Episode 5: When Fuller was wondering which choice cut Lecter might serve the annoying sanitarium director Dr. Chilton, it was Andres who suggested tongue, based upon the knowledge that the ancient Romans used to consume flamingo tongues.

But tongue wasn't the only body part being served up that night. Viewers have to look very closely (and exercise quite the twisted imagination) to puzzle out all the cannibalistic dishes Hannibal cooks up throughout the series, or else some delicacies will fly right by. "We had bone Jell-O in [Episode 5]," Fuller said. "That's something that I'll tweet about as it's going on, but I don't wanna put too much of it in the show, because it's an extra and it's kind of fun for people who are following live."

For more inside scoop on Hannibal's dishes and recipes, check out Feeding Hannibal.


Over-the-Top Steakhouse Sides

Like a supporting actor, side dishes help elevate steaks to greatness. Here's where you'll find the tastiest unsung heroes from coast to coast.

Related To:

Photo By: Butcher and Singer

Photo By: Keens Steakhouse

Photo By: Butcher and Singer

Photo By: Bern's Steak House

Steak's Trusty Sidekicks

A nice thick and juicy steak is heaven. But we all know the real fun comes from the sides — the potatoes, the veggies, the creamed everything. We scoured the country to find the most-outrageous sidekicks for your next steakhouse adventure.

Austin: Roaring Fork

Boston: Abe & Louie's

Freshly shucked corn is tossed with apple-wood-smoked bacon, shallots and bechamel sauce, then topped with panko breadcrumbs for a toasty golden crust, for the impossibly popular creamed corn at Abe & Louie's. It's technically a vegetable, so pass the guilt.

Charleston, SC: Oak Steakhouse

Macaroni and cheese is such a solid classic that you might wonder why anyone would mess with it. But the folks at Oak Steakhouse in Charleston were not content to leave well enough alone. Thank goodness. Just saying the words "smoky bacon macaroni and cheese" may be enough to put a smile on your face. But eating it is even better.

Chicago: RPM Steak

Chicago is a steakhouse city, so you'd think it would be hard to stand out. Not so for Chef/Partner Doug Psaltis at RPM Steak. Psaltis doesn't hold back with the Millionaire's Potato — it's kind of like your standard double-baked baby, except this one’s stuffed with Fontina and mountains of black truffles. It is the gilded lily.

Las Vegas: Bazaar Meat

Sin City is not exactly a place of sensible moderation. So it's no surprise that the sides at Bazaar Meat by José Andrés — a wild and wonderful celebration of all things carnivorous — are high on the decadence scale. In true Andrés form, a classic side of Potatoes Delmonico is served perfectly: a potato pie covered in cream and bubbling cheddar cheese.

New York City: Keens Steakhouse

A side of hash browns is a thing of beauty — a giant potato pancake, fried to golden brown, with crisped edges. It's a latke gone wild. But the one at New York City's legendary Keens Steakhouse is truly one of a kind, and that’s because it's got hunks of prime beef mixed into the potato pancake and the entire Frisbee-sized portion is topped with a sunny-side-up egg. Yeah.

New York City: Quality Meats

If you were to mate creamed corn with creme brulee, their love child would be the delicious Corn Crème Brûlée served at Quality Meats in New York City. Chef Craig Koketsu's savory-and-sweet classic is a hybrid spin on one of his comfort-food favorites, creamed corn, and a creme brulee. Secreted underneath caramelized sugar crust is a sweet corn custard. It's almost dessert.

Philadelphia: Butcher and Singer

Stuffed hash browns, you say? Yes! At Butcher and Singer, Stephen Starr's popular Philadelphia steakhouse that pays homage to old Hollywood, you’ll find these golden beauties stuffed with sour cream and chives, fried and baked. Take the leftovers home for breakfast — that is, if there are any.

Tampa: Bern's Steak House

The Steak House French Onion Soup Au Gratin, a side dish at the acclaimed Florida steakhouse, Bern's, is the best French onion soup you've ever had. The stock is made from veal bones (you can watch them roasting and brewing in their pots). The rich broth comes swimming with caramelized onions and topped with volcanic layers of gooey cheese. Truth be told, it's a meal, not a side, but we're not complaining.

West Hollywood: BOA Steakhouse

King Crab & Black Truffle Gnocchi may sound more like a main course than a side. But why bicker about categories? It's a must-have at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood. Delicate potato dumplings are cast in a Parmesan cream sauce piled high with fresh king crab, black truffle shavings, breadcrumbs and parsley. The dish is so rich that it's sort of optional to have the steak.


Judy Woodruff:

As we have seen, the damage from Dorian in the Bahamas appears catastrophic.

Chef and restauranteur José Andrés is there with his nonprofit organization, World Central Kitchen, which feeds those in need after disasters. He and his group served meals in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

I spoke to him by phone from Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, earlier today.

Chef Andres, thank you very much for talking us with.

First of all, tell us, when did you get to the Bahamas? Where are you? And what have you seen?

José Andrés:

We got to the Bahamas three days ago. We came to Nassau, directly, to the capital of the Bahamas.

We were six people, and with one very simple mission, to be ready to be near the local government, the government of the Bahamas, to NEMA, which is the FEMA of the Bahamas, and to start learning and getting ready for the response.

Judy Woodruff:

And what do you have in the way of supplies of food, of equipment that will allow you to serve whatever the need is?

José Andrés:

We have been getting a lot of help from the private sector as well.

We are here in the resort of Atlantis. It happens I have here a restaurant. And Atlantis, they have been giving us all the help we can get. And the government, we know they couldn't allow passage before in the island, but, again, the island literally was underwater.

This is like the Caribbean Ocean, the Caribbean Sea took over the island. So we need to think totally with a very open mind and adapt. So we have a ship that will come from Fort Lauderdale hopefully by tomorrow, will be on &mdash will be our way.

We have another ship here in Nassau. We took very big freezers that will bring a lot of the food we're going to be needing to cook there. We will bring big pots of food. And we will create, if necessary, what will be a temporary kitchen in each island.

At the beginning, we're going to be also cooking from here, from Nassau, and probably be bringing the food by helicopter in the early days and by boat daily, until we are able to finally be cooking in those two islands.

But we have been making sandwiches for the last two days, because the sandwiches are almost like our MREs. They are very light. But they are full of calories. And we can bring many thousands with us in the first helicopter drops

What happens right now, you need to understand, everybody is on rescue missions. It's a lot of people that they are on the island alone in their homes surrounded by water.

Judy Woodruff:

You told us you have been going to the Bahamas for a long time. Have you ever seen anything like this?

José Andrés:

Everything we see on the videos, everything we see on the photos is like nothing we have ever seen.

We need to understand, those two islands, they are not very big. They are very narrow islands, so imagine when they are so narrow and water is coming everywhere.

We saw videos where (INAUDIBLE) is like in hundreds of homes in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, with only water on the horizon. So the situation, again, many people, they didn't have anywhere to be safe.

And the water was so high that even some of the shelters, they became useless. So we know that, in the hospital, it's not only being used as a hospital in Abaco, but also as a temporary shelter for hundreds, if not thousands of people.

So, again, the situation is hard. And the next days are going to be critical to be able to do a very quick and fast response once all the search missions will be finished in the next two or three days.

Judy Woodruff:

Last thing, chef Andres, what can people do who are listening to this interview right now do? How can they help?

José Andrés:

Well, Americans &mdash and I'm so proud myself now, as an immigrant. I can say I am an American, too.

So proud that the U.S. Coast Guard moved in as quick as they could. And they have been already doing amazing work. And I know already the USAID is here in Bahamas also ready to bring their expertise.

So this is a way already the American people, through these organizations, are helping. I know many NGOs are going to be moving.

What I'm going to be telling people is always the same. I know a lot of people are going to be requesting money. And make sure that &mdash if you donate money, make sure it's the right organizations, that they are really doing work on the ground.

Judy Woodruff:

Chef Jose Andres, thank you very much for talking with us.

We wish you the very best with everything you're trying to do in this horrible situation.


José Andrés on the Road, Literally - Recipes

Two frosted doors mark the entrance to this mighty restaurant that extends well beyond its diminutive name. The stylish entry lounge is an idyllic stop for a glass of bubbly before settling into the laboratory-like dining room. Here, guests are perched at six seats per counter, all set around Chef José Andrés' stainless steel workspace that literally makes his world a stage.This clinical-like décor isn't a coincidence, since the modern cooking is highly experimental (though deftly avoids mad scientist status).

The experienced kitchen team is unabashedly passionate, turning out a menu complete with whimsy and edible creativity. There are those famous liquid olives, of course, as well as meaty morels served with "peas" that are actually "pearls" filled with fragrant pea and mint. "Scrambled Eggs" unveils yuba "egg white" drizzled with a vibrant yellow, cured-yolk sauce, accompanied by a duo of caviar and tiny, toasted croutons. Then a pairing of Hokkaido uni and Spanish jackrabbit broth is as delightfully unorthodox as a dessert of freeze-dried pomelo "cereal"—starring tapioca drenched in creamy, ice-cold coconut milk.

Be sure to head to barmini for a tray of sweets to cap-off the evening.

  • n Two MICHELIN Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour!
  • ó Comfortable restaurant one of our most delightful places
Commitment to sustainable gastronomy
Initiatives

All cardboard
Glass and plastic are recycled vegetable trimmings are utilized green wall at bar improves air quality.


The Most Iconic Recipes from Classic L.A. Restaurants Revealed

In his new book L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants, chef George Geary pays homage to dozens of classic eating establishments with historic photos, artifacts, and recipes. More than 100 dishes from the golden age of Hollywood dining come to life via thoroughly researched formulas.

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard at the Hollywood Brown Derby 1938

Photograph courtesy Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Anybody who remembers (or wants to time travel to) the glory of Imperial Los Angeles of the mid 20 th century will want to grab a bowl and start whipping up a batch of Hamburger Hamlet’s Onion Soup Fondue or that hot fudge sauce from C.C. Brown’s. I’m going to agree with the “legendary” label for those (not so much for specialties like the 1970s-era spicy tuna dip from Carlos ‘n Charlie’s on the Sunset Strip).

Schwab’s Pharmacy in Hollywood

Photograph courtesy of Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

The book augments impossibly rare photos of Walt Disney at the Tam O’Shanter, Lucy & Desi at the Brown Derby, and Orson Welles at Ma Maison, plus matchbooks, menus, and swizzle sticks sprinkled throughout that help make these old joints jump from the page.

Actor Hurd Hatfield and Angela Lansbury at Schwab’s Pharmacy, 1945

Photograph courtesy Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

The secret sauce is the collection of more than 100 recipes. A handful, including Miceli’s, Musso & Frank (does Clifton’s count?) still serve the famous dishes Geary teaches you how to make, but even if the restaurant is still open, you might not be served like your grandparents were. The recipe for the Mai Tai at the Formosa Café, for example, differs from the one currently served, which I’m more than a little hesitant to order. On a recent visit to the deflavorized dining room, someone in my party ordered a Navy Grog. The bartender stared at her slack jawed for a moment before sputtering “I literally have never heard of that. We mainly serve cheap beer.”

Geary went to great lengths to replicate the antique foodstuffs—with minor concessions (no MSG) to the contemporary palate. Geary discovered the formulas hidden in vintage food magazines, back issues of the Los Angeles Times, and rare cookbooks at Central Library. His test menu had to pass the memory test before they were included. Since there were multiple recipes for Chasen’s chili, and the author had never tried the original, that dish didn’t make the book.

Don the Beachcomber in Hollywood

Photograph courtesy of Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Geary is the son of a Santa Monica carhop who has spent decades teaching, touring, and lecturing about the culinary arts. With stints ranging from cheesecake maker on The Golden Girls to making pastries for Disneyland, Geary is an expert in traditional American food and an master of bringing these long-gone favorites to life. If you’re a complete addict for these kinds of things, here’s the full list. Here are a few of our favorites from in the book.

Zombie from Don the Beachcomber

Courtesy L.A.'S LEGENDARY RESTAURANTS by George Geary Santa Monica Press / October 2016

Cobb Salad from the Brown Derby

Courtesy L.A.'S LEGENDARY RESTAURANTS by George Geary Santa Monica Press / October 2016

Spicy Tuna Dip from Carlos ‘n Charlie’s

Courtesy L.A.'S LEGENDARY RESTAURANTS by George Geary Santa Monica Press / October 2016

Courtesy L.A.'S LEGENDARY RESTAURANTS by George Geary Santa Monica Press / October 2016

Hot Fudge Sauce from Schwab’s Pharmacy


Jose Andres heads for the Strip

Jose Andres has signed on to create not one but two restaurants for the future Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The prolific celebrity chef intends to re-create his popular Spanish tapas restaurant, Jaleo, and whip up something fresh for the nearly 3,000-room luxury resort, poised to open on the Strip in December. His second eatery, affectionately but unofficially dubbed Noodle Taco by his staff, will feature Chinese-Mexican cuisine.


Jose Andres is one busy guy. (Pablo De Loy)

The Vegas Jaleo will highlight a wood-fired pit for making paella. The yet-to-be-named fusion restaurant will feature tortilla makers up front, dishes including shumai wrapped in mango and high-end ingredients such as fresh water chestnuts rather than canned.

Andres has visited China and plans to go back for research several times before December. One of his tour guides, Jorge Guajardo, is a longtime friend who happens to be Mexico's ambassador to China.

"I've always been fascinated by China," Andres says. His native Spain and China share many similarities: The people of both countries "love pork and fried food."

Andres’s establishments are the latest to join five other dining venues and a wine bar on the second level of the property. The restaurants are Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill, Estiatorio Milos, Scarpetta and STK, a steakhouse (from New York), and Comme Ca in Los Angeles.

“They’re all places I like to go,” says John Unwin, chief executive of the two-tower, 50-story Cosmopolitan. Assembling the collection of restaurants was similar to selecting guests for a dinner party, he adds: “They all have to complement each other.” In addition, the restaurants are “all first-timers” in the Las Vegas marketplace, which is thick with representatives from New York and San Francisco. By selecting Andres and David Meyers, the chef of Comme Ca, Unwin hopes to show visitors “there are other places with great food.”

Designed in part by top architect David Rockwell, the Cosmopolitan will distinguish itself from its competitors on the Strip in other than matters of the table. For one thing, the complex sits on less than nine acres. (“It’s very vertical,” Unwin says with a smile.) Most of its rooms include terraces. One of three “pool environments” overlooks the Strip.

While Andres, 40, says he had been approached previously about doing business in Sin City, "it was never the right opportunity, the right time, the right deal." With the Cosmopolitan, "I have a lot to win" he says. (For the record, he laughed when this quote was read back to him.)

This has been a buzzy few days for Andres, the always-animated Spanish native. Tonight, “60 Minutes” is profiling him on CBS. Tomorrow, he’ll attend the James Beard Foundation's annual gala in New York, where he’s one of five national nominees for the prestigious Outstanding Chef award.

By The Food Section | May 2, 2010 7:30 AM ET
Categories: Chefs | Tags: Jose Andres, Tom Sietsema, chefs
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'Without Empathy, Nothing Works.' Chef José Andrés Wants to Feed the World Through the Pandemic

Not many people were getting on airplanes in the U.S. on March 12, and even fewer were heading for the Grand Princess cruise ship. COVID-19 was discovered among the ship&rsquos 2,400 passengers after it set sail from Hawaii, making the vessel about as popular as the Flying Dutchman the Grand Princess had to loiter off the California coast for days before being given permission to berth.

But here was José Andrés, marching down an air bridge in Newark, N.J., for a 6:30 a.m. flight to San Francisco. His beige, many-pocketed vest and matching cap put out a vaguely fisherman vibe, but anyone who placed Andrés&mdashhe&rsquos a celebrity chef&mdashmight also recognize the gear he changes into when he&rsquos racing to the scene of disaster. The flight was long, and there was plenty of time to contemplate the dimensions of the catastrophe already silently spreading across the country below.

&ldquoI feel like if something major happens, the America we see from this window …&rdquo he says, trailing off as he looks out over the Rocky Mountains. He had mentioned the shortages of surgical masks and corona-virus tests, and now let the next thought remain unspoken. &ldquoThis is like a movie, man. Maybe we&rsquore overreacting. But it&rsquos O.K. to overreact in this case.&rdquo

Andrés&rsquo rapidly expanding charity, World Central Kitchen, is as prepared as anyone for this moment of unprecedented global crisis. The nonprofit stands up field kitchens to feed thousands of people fresh, nourishing, often hot meals as soon as possible at the scene of a hurricane, earthquake, tornado or flood. As a global public-health emergency, COVID-19 hasn&rsquot been limited to any one place. But it pulverizes the economy as it rolls across the world, and people need money to eat. World Central Kitchen already is distributing meals in low-income neighborhoods in big cities like New York, and monitoring the globe for food shortages elsewhere, some sure to be acute.

In the meantime, Andrés is a lesson of leadership in crisis. In a catastrophe in which the response of the U.S. government has been slow, muddled and unsure, his kitchen models the behavior&mdashnimble, confident, proactive&mdashthe general public needs in a crisis (and, so far, has provided it more reliably than the federal government). Consider the Grand Princess. President Donald Trump made crystal clear he would have preferred that people remain on the vessel so the infected passengers would not increase the tally of cases he appeared to see as a personal scoreboard (&ldquoI like the numbers being where they are&rdquo). Then, a few breaths later, the President said he was deferring to experts, which made life easier for the quarantined passengers and crew who disembarked, a few hundred at a time, over a week, but harder for Americans looking for the clear, unambiguous instruction that&rsquos so essential to public health. &ldquoWe have a President more worried about Wall Street going down,&rdquo says Andrés, &ldquothan about the virus itself.&rdquo

At the port of Oakland, where the Grand Princess finally docked, Andrés&rsquo team made its own statement. Setting up a tent at the side of the ship, it forklifted fresh meals not only for the quarantined passengers but also for the crew. &ldquoWhen we hear about a tragedy, we all kind of get stuck on &lsquoWhat&rsquos the best to way to help?&rsquo&rdquo playwright and producer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who first connected with Andrés in 2017 during the Hurricane Maria relief efforts, tells TIME. &ldquoHe just hurries his ass over and gets down there.&rdquo

Andrés, at the age of 50, is charismatic, impulsive, fun, blunt and driven, an idealist who feeds thousands and a competitor who will knock you out of the lane on the basketball court. He is also among America&rsquos best-known cooks. His ThinkFoodGroup of more than 30 restaurants includes locations in Washington, D.C. Florida California New York and five other states and the Bahamas. They run the gamut from avant-garde fare to a food court that the New York Times restaurant critic called the best new establishment in New York in 2019. But in recent years, Andrés, an immigrant from Spain, has attracted more attention with his humanitarian work. World Central Kitchen prepared nearly 4 million meals for residents of Puerto Rico in the wake of the devastation wrought by Maria (he titled his best-selling book about it We Fed an Island). The organization has launched feeding missions in 13 countries, serving some 15 million meals and corralling more than 45,000 volunteers. Andrés was nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.

Upon landing in the Bay Area, he hopped on the phone with Nate Mook, World Central Kitchen&rsquos executive director, to discuss a potential partnership with Panera Bread to give away meals. He put on a mask and visited the kitchen his organization had set up at the University of San Francisco, where several dozen workers prepared jambalaya and salads for quarantined passengers. He thanked his workers&mdashmany of whom are veterans of past feeding efforts&mdashbut noted the risks of overcrowding a relief kitchen in the era of COVID-19. &ldquoLess people is better,&rdquo he told a World Central Kitchen staffer. &ldquoIf not, we&rsquore going to fall like flies.&rdquo

Next stop: the cruise ship, to distribute meals. On the ride over the Bay Bridge to Oakland, Andrés was already managing past the task at hand, as he spoke to Mook about financing a mass feeding program. &ldquoThis is going to be something remembered in the history books,&rdquo he says. &ldquoThis is going to be beyond Sept. 11, beyond Katrina. Think big. Because every time we think big, we deliver. And the money always shows up.&rdquo Later that evening, Andrés and his staff huddled with leaders of an Oakland-based company, Revolution Foods, who have contracts to cook and deliver school lunches: they&rsquove continued operating during the COVID-19 emergency. Andrés urged the company&rsquos CEO and head chef to isolate cooks so they steer clear of infection. He coached them on forging partnerships-: with restaurants ordered shuttered, Andrés noted, many cooks will soon be out of work and itching to help.

&ldquoMy friends,&rdquo Andrés told his staff, &ldquomaybe this is why World Central Kitchen was created.&rdquo

It was during Hurricane Maria that Andrés learned to cut through government bureaucracy to fill a leadership vacuum and feed the masses. From a niche nonprofit supporting sustainable-food and clean-cooking initiatives in underdeveloped countries like Haiti, World Central Kitchen has become the world&rsquos most prominent first responder for food. In some ways, the face of global disaster relief is a burly man fond of shouting &ldquoBoom!&rdquo when he hears something he likes, and leaning his body into yours when he wants to make a point. Andrés and his field workers flock to disaster sites across the world, often acting as some of the first on-the-ground social-media reporters. They&rsquove deployed to wildfires in California, an earthquake in Albania, a volcanic eruption in Guatemala.

When Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas last September, World Central Kitchen commandeered helicopters and seaplanes to take meals to the Abaco Islands, which lay in rubble. &ldquoIn the end, we brought hope as fast as anybody has ever done it,&rdquo says Andrés. &ldquoNo one told me I&rsquom in charge of feeding the Bahamas. I said I&rsquom in charge of feeding the Bahamas.&rdquo This year, World Central Kitchen workers went to Australia to help residents affected by the bushfires, and to Tennessee after tornadoes in the Nashville area killed at least 25 people.

It was not caught flat-footed by the coronavirus. In February, World Central Kitchen forklifted food onto another infected Princess cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, docked off Yokohama, Japan. Field-operations chief Sam Bloch had flown from the bushfire mission in Australia to Los Angeles and rerouted himself back across the Pacific. On March 15, as states ordered public spaces closed, Andrés announced the conversion of five of his D.C.-area restaurants, and his outlet in New York City, into community kitchens. As of March 25, World Central Kitchen has worked with partners to coordinate delivery, via 160 distribution points, of more than 150,000 safe, packaged fresh meals for families in New York City Washington, D.C. Little Rock, Ark. Oakland New Orleans Los Angeles Miami Boston and Madrid. Across the country, the organization&rsquos &ldquoChefs for America&rdquo online map pinpoints 346 restaurants and 567 school districts providing meals. On March 23 and 24, Andrés drove around D.C. to give out more than 13,000 N95 respirator masks, left over from prior World Central Kitchen cruise feeding operations, to health care workers fighting COVID-19 on the front lines.

&ldquoWe need to make sure we are building walls that are shorter and tables that are longer,&rdquo Andrés likes to say, making explicit his difference with Trump. He pulled out of a restaurant deal at Trump&rsquos D.C. hotel after the candidate announced his campaign by referring to Mexicans as &ldquorapists.&rdquo (The Trump Organization sued ThinkFoodGroup countersued the case was settled.) During the government shutdown in early 2019, World Central Kitchen and partners cooked 300,000 meals for furloughed federal workers living paycheck to paycheck. On a plane to Las Vegas recently, Andrés told me, a Trump supporter said to him that although he knew the chef didn&rsquot like &ldquomy boy,&rdquo he still considered Andrés a good guy.

&ldquoWhat we&rsquove been able to do,&rdquo says Andrés, &ldquois weaponize empathy. Without empathy, nothing works.&rdquo

Andrés was raised in the north of Spain, the son of nurses. Cooking was always alluring. &ldquoThe touching, the transformation of things, the smells of it, the tastes of it, it brought people together,&rdquo Andrés says. &ldquoI love clay. I love fire. Maybe I&rsquom a distant relative of Prometheus.&rdquo He is fond of telling one story: when he was a boy, he always wanted to stir the paella pan, but his father wouldn&rsquot let him cook. He first had to learn to control the fire.

After culinary school in Barcelona and a stint in the Spanish navy cooking for an admiral, Andrés arrived in New York City in 1991 as a 21-year-old chef with $50 in his pocket. He moved to D.C. a few years later to help start a Spanish-themed restaurant, Jaleo, and helped popularize tapas in the U.S. Success gave him the freedom to open more restaurants and experiment with new fare. In 2016, minibar, in D.C., which offers a tasting menu of a few dozen small courses, earned the coveted two-star Michelin rating. &ldquoHe&rsquos probably the most creative chef in the world today,&rdquo says French chef Eric Ripert, whose own flagship New York restaurant, Le Bernardin, regularly ranks among the best on the planet. Ripert points to a waffle stuffed with foie gras mousse, served at barmini&mdashminibar&rsquos companion cocktail and snack lounge&mdashas an Andrés creation that blew him away. &ldquoWaffles are not supposed to be savory,&rdquo he says. &ldquoYour chances of success with that are almost none. You see it coming and you&rsquore like, &lsquoWhat is that?&rsquo It&rsquos full of surprise.&rdquo

In an interview a few years back, Andrés, who became a U.S. citizen in 2013, said he speaks to his ingredients. But when I ask if he actually talks to his garlic, he says don&rsquot take him literally. &ldquoIf you are a cook and you don&rsquot understand the history and physics behind water, of tomatoes, it&rsquos very difficult for you to do anything. Come on, talking to ingredients is just, Are you aware of what you have in your hands? Are you deep in thought?&rdquo

While Andrés&rsquo restaurants caught on in the 1990s and his profile continued to rise&mdasha PBS show, Made in Spain, for example, debuted in 2008&mdashhe homed in on philanthropy. He lent time and resources to D.C. Central Kitchen, a local charity that not only feeds the capital&rsquos homeless and residents in need but also trains them to find cooking jobs. It was in 2010&mdashafter he visited Haiti following the earthquake that year&mdashthat he founded World Central Kitchen. &ldquoMy whole history with him has been listening to him and saying, &lsquoYou&rsquore crazy,&rsquo&rdquo says D.C. Central Kitchen founder Robert Egger. &ldquoThen he does it. At this point if he comes to me and has an idea for an intergalactic kitchen, I&rsquom like, &lsquoF-cking A, that&rsquos good. I&rsquom on board.&rsquo&rdquo

The organization pitched in on Hurricane Sandy relief in 2012, and in August 2017, Andrés traveled to Houston to help mobilize chefs after Hurricane Harvey. The work all led up to Hurricane Maria, which made landfall that September. &ldquoPuerto Rico was that moment where it&rsquos like, O.K., it&rsquos time to put into practice all that we&rsquove been soaking up over the years,&rdquo says Mook, World Central Kitchen&rsquos executive director. &ldquoWe saw the sheer paralysis of the government&rsquos response. We realized we were on the brink of a humanitarian crisis. We said, Let&rsquos start somewhere. Let&rsquos start cooking.&rdquo (Andrés appeared on TIME&rsquos list of the 100 most influential people in the world in both 2012 and 2018.)

World Central Kitchen has figured out that rather than relying on packaged food airlifted in from the outside&mdash&ldquomeals ready to eat&rdquo (MREs) in relief parlance&mdashAndrés and his team can tap into existing supply chains and local chefs to prepare hot meals. As its profile has expanded, its revenues have ballooned from around $650,000 in 2016 to $28.5 million in 2019, and the organization now has the wherewithal to hire local help&mdashas well as send out its own operations experts&mdashto kick-start the food economy. Some two-thirds of World Central Kitchen&rsquos 2019 revenues, or $19.1 million, came from individual donations, ranging from large gifts from philanthropists (including from Marc and Lynne Benioff, TIME&rsquos owners and co-chairs) to kids giving $6 out of their allowance. Former President Bill Clinton, whose Clinton Global Initiative has supported World Central Kitchen, says Andrés&rsquo empathic action is more crucial than ever in these divided times. &ldquoIf you spend more time on your fears than your hopes, on your resentments than your compassions, and you divide people up, in an interdependent world, bad things are going to happen,&rdquo Clinton, who first spent significant time with Andrés in Haiti after the earthquake, tells TIME. &ldquoIf that&rsquos all you do, you&rsquore not helping the people who have been victimized or left behind or overlooked. He&rsquos a walking model of what the 21st century citizen should be.&rdquo

About two months before his trip to Oakland, Andrés stomped into another airport, in San Juan, the first person off his flight from Washington, D.C. &ldquoGo do your thing, chef,&rdquo a man sitting at another gate told him as he made his way through the terminal. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake had brought Andrés back. A car was waiting to take him to the south, where the tremors damaged homes and left hungry people sleeping under tents. As his ride rushed through a lush green Puerto Rican mountainside, Andrés offered a master class in multitasking, one moment conducting ThinkFoodGroup business over the phone&mdash&ldquoI never saw the deal. I need to see the deal before I sign sh-t,&rdquo he barked at one executive&mdashwhile in another prepping his World Central Kitchen field workers for his arrival. &ldquoI&rsquove got good news and bad news,&rdquo he told one of them. &ldquoThe bad news is, I&rsquom coming …&rdquo

Working for the blunt Andrés is not for the faint of heart. On the other hand, the chaos of a restaurant kitchen translates into a disaster area. He often rubs his eyes and tugs at his beard, before expressing frustration. &ldquoI would like to say you put too much food on a tray,&rdquo he tells a few of his workers in Puerto Rico. &ldquoBut that never f-cking happens.&rdquo

During his 36 hours in Puerto Rico, Andrés pinballed to some half dozen World Central Kitchen sites to assist with the feeding efforts, at baseball fields, a track-and-field facility and a smaller indoor kitchen in the city of Ponce, where workers prepared ham-and-cheese sandwiches with globs of mayo. (&ldquoMakes them easy for the elderly to chew,&rdquo Andrés says.) In Peñuelas, the chef shared a quiet conversation with an overwhelmed food-truck operator World Central Kitchen had hired, urging her to change the menu for dinner before patting her on the back and departing for his next stop. In Guayanilla, Andrés went bed to bed handing out solar lights to frightened residents sleeping outside in the dark. In Yauco, he stirred meat sauce in one of World Central Kitchen&rsquos signature giant paella pans. Within days of the earthquake, Andrés&rsquo operation was serving 12,000 meals a day in Puerto Rico.

On the early-morning flight to Fort Lauderdale, Andrés earned the title of loudest snorer on board. He had been up late the previous night, enjoying a few pops of his go-to drink, the rum sour, at the San Juan restaurant whose namesake chef, Jose Enrique, first opened his kitchen doors to Andrés after Maria. And he had woken up that morning for a radio interview before the flight. In Florida, he would catch a private charter to Hurricane Dorian&ndashdamaged Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas, where hollowed-out cars still lie by the side of the road and only a stove remains where a kitchen once stood in most people&rsquos homes. Although the hurricane had struck more than three months earlier, World Central Kitchen still had a strong presence: Andrés takes pride that his team doesn&rsquot just parachute in. They stick around.

Andrés went door to door, distributing some two dozen hot meals, continuing his deliveries well past dark. Afterward, he was genuinely hurt that a few of his relief workers were too wiped out to join him for dinner and a few drinks. He napped again on the ride back to the hotel&mdashhis head bobbed with such force, it seemed in danger of collapsing to the ground. But once at the hotel he wanted to stay up a little longer, sip Irish whiskey on the beach and stare at the stars.

Perhaps Andrés crashes so hard because he lives in perpetual motion, often acting on impulse. His &ldquoplans&rdquo deserve quotation marks. He&rsquoll shout, &ldquoLet&rsquos go,&rdquo in his booming voice&mdashthen stick around for another hour, taking pictures, lugging a crate of apples to help feed people, talking to anyone within earshot. After leaving the cruise ship in Oakland, Andrés and his team were scheduled to hunker down in a San Francisco hotel room to figure out their strategy for feeding America in the wake of COVID-19. A staffer worked the phones to reserve a conference room. First, however, a spontaneous lunch interrupted: Andrés took five workers to a favorite Chinese restaurant, which was nearly empty because of coronavirus fears, for piles of dim sum. Then Andrés declared he wanted to move the meeting to a park. Then, instead of squatting in grass, Andrés decided that everyone, including himself, needed to find a barber to shave their beards and shorten their hair after a social-media user pointed out that facial hair can reduce the effectiveness of the N95 masks World Central Kitchen workers had been wearing. Andrés, who had been up until at least 2 a.m. on the East Coast before catching his early-morning transcontinental flight, passed out in the barber&rsquos chair, shaving cream smeared across his neck.

What looks like a scatterbrained approach can work in managing a crisis: while visiting the Bahamas, Andrés was in constant contact with his team in Puerto Rico, where another 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit after he left. But human relations are something else. If he&rsquos idling on Twitter when you ask for his attention, it can be grating. &ldquoHe&rsquos the salt to my life because he really brings the color and the flavor,&rdquo says Andrés&rsquo wife Patricia, who also hails from Spain she met him in D.C. in the 1990s. &ldquoBut sometimes I want to kill him, O.K.? Don&rsquot misunderstand me. Or throw him out the window.&rdquo

Andrés is sometimes so in his head and on mission, he&rsquos oblivious to his surroundings. He&rsquoll open a car door before the vehicle comes to a complete stop. He has a habit of walking in circles, staring straight ahead, while on important cell-phone calls: in Marsh Harbour, a car pulling into a takeout shop nearly hit him. In Ponce, while showing someone the proper angle at which he wanted to take a picture of lettuce growing in a greenhouse, he leaned against a rail and nearly took out a portion of the crop.

But a tendency to distraction belies his intense focus on whatever he&rsquos trying to accomplish. Andrés plays to win. The day before the NBA&rsquos All-Star Celebrity Game in February, I joined him for a training session at the National Basketball Players Association gym in New York City. His friend José Calderón, a former NBA player from Spain, works as a special assistant to the union&rsquos executive director. During a game of 3-on-3, Andrés fouled me with his shoulders, barely attempting to move his feet. He employed similar tactics, it turns out, while playing with his daughters in the driveway of their Bethesda, Md., home. &ldquoWe were 10, 12 years old, and he didn&rsquot care,&rdquo says his eldest daughter Carlota, 21. &ldquoWe were on the floor.&rdquo He wasn&rsquot much nicer to the officials at their youth hoops contests. &ldquoHe would get kicked out of my games multiple times,&rdquo Carlota says. &ldquoI think it started when I was in second grade.&rdquo

He brings both temper and tenderness. &ldquoI am getting very anxious,&rdquo he said in a raised voice at one of his relief workers over the phone in Puerto Rico. &ldquoCan we for once f-cking show up at the same time and the same place … Are we in control, or are we not in control?&rdquo But he&rsquoll later tell his crew how proud he is of them, or how much he loves them. When he got wind that classmates were telling the 9-year-old daughter of one of his workers that she might get coronavirus because her father was working near the cruise ship, Andrés grabbed his colleague&rsquos phone and recorded a video message for her and two younger siblings. &ldquoYour daddy is a hero, period,&rdquo Andrés said, choking up slightly. &ldquoSo don&rsquot worry, your daddy is going to be home soon and he is going to be taking care of all of you. And I only want you to be super proud of your dad.&rdquo

In the Bahamas, a woman yelled out to Andrés from her car and simply put her hands together, as if she were in church it was her way of telling him he&rsquos a blessing. On his way to his office in D.C. in February, a woman from Japan stopped to thank him for feeding the cruise-ship passengers docked in Yokohama. And as he walked through downtown San Francisco, puffing on a cigar, a woman approached him gingerly to tell him that she&rsquos donated to World Central Kitchen and that it was an honor to meet him. She then tiptoed away, as if she&rsquod just disturbed rare air.

His decision to head to San Francisco&mdashwhere one of his workers wore a hazmat suit as he drove the forklift of food to the cruise ship&mdashdidn&rsquot make much sense to me. The World Central Kitchen team was handling the feeding just fine. The mission was winding down. D.C. was going to serve as the Chefs for America command center to address hunger caused by COVID-19 disruptions. So why would the man who says he &ldquowants to take the lead in feeding America&rdquo after the outbreak risk getting sick, or grounded, 2,500 miles away from home base?

This line of inquiry annoys him. &ldquoSh-t, I want to be with the guys to see it and give thanks,&rdquo says Andrés on the flight west. &ldquoWhat a question to ask. Like, why the f-ck do you get married?&rdquo At the University of San Francisco kitchen, a chef who has worked on prior World Central Kitchen missions lights up when she spots Andrés. They exchange a hug. Andrés turns my way. &ldquoYou ask me why I come,&rdquo he says. &ldquoWhat the f-ck? What&rsquos wrong with you?&rdquo

Andrés has something in common with his buddy Clinton: he craves connecting with people. His public face&mdashyukking it up on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, pumping up World Central Kitchen on social media, giving booming speeches to audiences that hang on every word&mdashhas earned him a reputation as a tireless advocate for humanity. But he doesn&rsquot always feel so fresh himself. On the flight from Florida to the Bahamas in January, Andrés finally set aside his phone, reclined and admitted that the expectations of feeding the world, and running some 30 restaurants, weigh on him. Over the past few years, both his parents have died. His good friend Anthony Bourdain committed suicide. Two of his daughters left for college. &ldquoYou wake up in the morning, and you&rsquore like, oooof,&rdquo says Andrés. Sometimes he feels like staying in bed. &ldquoAll of this is happening in front of you and you feel like you&rsquore losing control.&rdquo

He also has to fight getting in too deep. &ldquoMy biggest worry is that the dream of feeding the world takes a toll on me that it becomes almost sickening,&rdquo Andrés says. &ldquoYou become totally obsessed with it. You&rsquore enjoying dinner somewhere, and you&rsquore checking your phone. Has there been an earthquake? What&rsquos happening in Syria? What the f-ck happened there, how are we not there? I have a company to run. I have a family. I cannot disappear from the life of other people that need me too.&rdquo

Patricia remembers her husband waking up one morning anxious around three years ago, before Hurricane Maria, when he was already a famed, award-winning chef. &ldquoHe&rsquos like, What am I going to do with my life?&rdquo she says. &ldquoAm I doing enough? I&rsquom not doing anything.&rdquo He still expresses such sentiments. &ldquoHe doesn&rsquot look at what he has done,&rdquo she says. &ldquoHe is looking at what he still has to do.&rdquo

Those closest to him worry that all the work is wearing him down. &ldquoI wish he could lose some weight and get fit,&rdquo says Patricia. That Nobel Peace Prize nomination and the global adoration are nice and all: just imagine, she jokingly tells him, what he could do if he were in better shape.

&ldquoThe only thing I worry is, I don&rsquot think he spends enough time taking care of José,&rdquo says Clinton. &ldquoHe works a lot. I don&rsquot want him to burn out. I don&rsquot want him to drop dead someday because he has a heart attack, because he never took the time to exercise, and relax and do what he needs to do. He&rsquos a treasure. He&rsquos a national treasure for us, and a world treasure now. He&rsquos really one of the most special people I&rsquove ever known.&rdquo

Andrés shoos away all calls to slim down: he insists he runs 325 days a year. He allows, however, that the suffering he&rsquos seen up close at disaster scenes&mdashdead bodies, elderly people sleeping in soiled beds, starving people eating roots and drinking filthy water&mdashstrains his mind. To cope, he sometimes turns to what he calls a &ldquostrange thought&rdquo for solace. The thought is that as more climate disasters inevitably hit both the developed and under-developed worlds, poor people in places like the Bahamas and Puerto Rico may at least be better equipped to cope. &ldquoThis gives me a little bit of strange happiness only in the sense saying, You know one thing? Maybe life is preparing them for a worse moment,&rdquo says Andrés. &ldquoAnd actually the fittest will survive and it&rsquos not me, it&rsquos not us, it&rsquos them.&rdquo

Meanwhile, Andrés vows that World Central Kitchen will continue to grow. Splitting time between the nonprofit and his restaurants hadn&rsquot hurt business before the COVID-19 shutdown. On the contrary, revenues had doubled in the past two years, thanks in large part to the opening of Mercado Little Spain, the food market in Manhattan&rsquos Hudson Yards complex, though the goodwill Andrés has earned through World Central Kitchen and his rising profile have also helped. Andrés believes World Central Kitchen, at 10 years old, is still in its infancy. He and his team are learning as they go, and he&rsquos confident that with COVID-19 threatening Americans&rsquo familiar way of living, World Central Kitchen will pass its biggest test yet.


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