Last night at the James Beard Awards, Spaniard José Andrés took home the most coveted title, that of outstanding chef in the nation. The chef and father has five restaurants in Washington DC, one in Los Angeles, and two in Las Vegas. When receiving the award, Andrés said, "food can change the life of people. Use food in the right way." He's not just making waves with his cuisine; he's also using food to promote social change. To learn more about the chef who trained under Spain's famed Ferran Adría, read on.
- He got his start at a young age. When he was 5 years old, Andrés moved from Asturias to Barcelona. There, he developed a passion for cooking. At age 12, he was in charge of preparing food for his family, and at age 15 he entered culinary school.
- He became popular in Spain before America. Before he became a well-known culinary personality (thanks to his PBS show, Made in Spain) Andrés was the host of Vamos a Cocinar, a Spanish language show that aired in the evenings and highlighted traditional and international cuisine. It was the Iberian nation's most popular food show.
- He owns a restaurant group. The Think Food Group is Andrés and partner Rob Wilder's restaurant association. He also has a nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, which aims to help feed vulnerable people in crises around the globe.
- He taught at Harvard. Last Fall, the chef taught a series of lectures on science and cooking. In the classes, he discussed topics such as the use of gelatin and creativity when it comes to the culinary arts.
- He loves kids. The chef has three young daughters who are often on stage with him during his cooking demonstrations. He's also appeared at the White House's many kid-centric food celebrations.
Have you eaten at one of José's restaurants? What did you think?