José Andrés is a Spanish top chef residing in the US who has won many awards both for his cooking and his humanitarian work.  

Born in Asturias Andrés attended a culinary school in Barcelona Spain and worked for three years in famed restaurant El Bulli.

El Bulli’s Ferran Adrià has been very influential in his career. In an interview with The Gourmet Journal he said: “Quite frankly, my time at El Bulli changed my life. It was the 1980s and I was just beginning my culinary career. Spanish cuisine was booming, and it was a fascinating time to be in the kitchen with Ferran leading that charge. He pushed us to think beyond the ingredients we were working with and to experiment and question everything. A lot of the times, working with him was like tempting fate. I remember one day, I was working the fry station, and he came into the kitchen wanting to put a spoon full of almond milk gelatin into the vat of oil that was in front of me. We were all a wreck, because as you may or may not know, a cold liquid does not do so well when thrown into hot oil. He did it anyways, and as we all assumed, it exploded everywhere. But right before he did it, he looked at me and said “if I don’t test it, I won’t know.” That crazy experiment eventually led to one of his most highly regarded dishes, his liquid croquetas, and I’ve carried that memory of him looking at me, in that mad scientist way, justifying his cause for why he had to do what he did, every single day of my life since.”

In his early twenties Andrés moved to New York and after working at different successful restaurants he opened his own, the first of many in several American cities. His flagship restaurant is Minibar, opened in 2003 and recognized with two Michelin stars.

He starred in his own cooking show in Spain, published a book on tapas in the US and also taught a culinary physics course at Harvard University with Ferran Adrià.

Andrés is married to Patricia “Tichi” Fernández de la Cruz and has three daughters; they live in Bethesda, Maryland, United States.

His passion and drive have led him to not only be one of the world’s most recognised leading chefs, but also a titan of humanitarianism. Andrés is the founder of World Central Kitchen (WCK), a non-profit devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters, which has garnered him worldwide praise.

He has had to spend a lot of time away from home with WCK about which he has said: “Sometimes you wonder to yourself, “why am I doing this?” But then you hear the inner voice say, “I do it because I believe it is the right thing to do,” because my daughters are seeing an example in me of trying to fix things with action, not just with words. And because my wife encourages me to do it. I do it because it’s the only way you can inspire people to join and use their talents to help others.” 

The WCK has provided much needed food relief for example in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, in response to Hurricane Harvey, the 2023 Turkey-Syria earthquakes and currently the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The organisation also collects donations; just in 2022 the total amounted to $519 million. 

For his work with WCK José Andrés has won the 2018 James Beard Foundation Award for Humanitarian of the Year, 2021 Courage and Civility Award from Jeff Bezos, along with $100 million and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2024. 

Andrés continues to help where he can

When you talk about food and water, people don’t want a solution one week from now, one month from now. The solution has to be now.”