José Andrés Has Been Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

The American chef is recognized for his humanitarian and disaster relief work.

By Ethan L. Johns
November 27, 2018

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Image: Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

What makes an individual worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize? Well, feeding millions of people in the wake of a natural disaster is a start.

On Monday, it was confirmed by the Washington Post that chef and humanitarian José Andrés has been nominated for the prize, just over a year after serving more than 2.4 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico, who had been devastated by Hurricane Maria.

Andrés and his organization World Central Kitchen arrived on the ground in Puerto Rico just a few days after the hurricane struck, leaving most of the island without power. With fellow restaurateur Jose Enrique, Andrés launched the #ChefsForPuertoRico movement, which eventually grew to serve as many as 150,000 meals in a single day. To date, the organization has served over 3.6 million meals on the island.

The chef even wrote a book about the experience in the interest of showing others how to react to similar disasters in the future.

The Peace Prize, as outlined in the will of Alfred Nobel, is given annually “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.” Andrés was nominated for the 2019 prize, which will be awarded in December 2019 to whoever the Norwegian Nobel Committee selects.

The nomination was made by U.S. Rep. John Delaney. In his submission, the Democratic congressman from Maryland highlighted Andrés’ contribution to the future of disaster relief.

“Because of Mr. Andrés’ work, millions of people have been fed,” he wrote, according to the Washington Post. “This is the most basic human need and Mr. Andrés has proven to be world-class in this essential humanitarian field. With an incredible spirit and an innovative mind, Mr. Andrés is solving one of the world’s ancient problems and supplying world leaders with a new road map to provide more effective disaster relief in the future.”

Andrés responded modestly on Twitter, acknowledging his position in the world of humanitarian aid.

“I don’t know if it is true, but if it is, I’m humbled by it,” he wrote. “I’m one more guy between thousands of people helping feed people in need, every day around the world, unrecognized…”

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns