The chef and humanitarian gave an inspired speech about the importance of feeding the world better, solving world hunger and reducing food waste
Chef José Andrés recently received the prestigious 2021 Princess of Asturias Award for Concord at a special ceremony recently held in Asturias and presided over by Spain's royal family. Andrés was recognized for his tireless work behind his NGO, World Central Kitchen (WCK), which endeavors the feed those in need affected by natural and manmade disasters. From the recent volcanic eruptions in La Palma to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico to the global pandemic, Andrés and his team have served more than 60 million meals to people around the world. If there's an earthquake, a tsunami, or a forest fire, you can bet that World Central Kitchen is there.
Andrés gave an inspirational speech, saying that “WCK [feeds] the hungry and [uplifts] communities through the power of food.” He added that the people they help “do not want our pity; they want our respect and their dignity. That’s the power of a plate of food.” Andrés spoke about his beginnings, about how his parents were nurses and went above and beyond to take care of people; later he learned that other professions could do the same. As a chef he could “feed the few, but also [had] the power to feed the many.” He also shared an important lesson he learned early on that changed his way of thinking while volunteering at a homeless shelter in Washington, DC: “Too often charity is about the redemption of the giver, not the liberation of the receiver.” According to the humanitarian chef, “The world needs longer tables, where food can bring us together, not higher walls to keep us apart.”