Solidarity gastronomy, José Andrés wins the Basque Culinary World Prize – Italian Cuisine

Solidarity gastronomy, José Andrés wins the Basque Culinary World Prize

The Spanish-American chef founded the World Central Kitchen association, bringing together chefs from around the world and mobilizing them to provide a global response to different emergency situations

He won the Basque Culinary World Prize 2020 (a sort of "Nobel" for solidarity gastronomy) for his important work with the World Central Kitchen association (WCK), and has already divided the prize in money – 100 thousand euros – among the ten other chefs who deserved special mention.

Solidarity that passes through the kitchen

José Andrés, Spanish-American chef, owner of a restaurant chain in the United States, founded WCK 10 years ago, bringing together chefs from all over the world and mobilizing them to provide a global and collective response to different emergency situations. He has supported political and humanitarian causes, he has cooked for free for disaster victims natural, such as Haiti and Puerto Rico, Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas and forest fires in Australia, has spent years promoting immigration reforms and occupational improvements in the restaurant sector. With the great awareness that the kitchen can be an engine for social change.

During the crisis caused by the pandemic, the WCK association played an important role. When the spread of the coronavirus started to intensify, in March, José Andrés mobilized, both in the United States and in Spain. The WCK managed around 150 solidarity kitchens in 10 cities with the support of local chefs, food banks and the Red Cross. It facilitated access to food in the most troubled regions, provided support to staff dealing with restaurant and bar closures, and incurred government spending on ensure food for the needy.

As the owner of a large chain of restaurants in the United States, José Andrés says that "those who work in the restaurant sector can help revive the economy and at the same time rebuild communities".

"After long reflection, we wanted to focus the award on the challenge facing the entire planet due to the coronavirus pandemic," explained the jury president, Joan Roca (El Cellar de Can Roca). «A challenge that chef José Andrés has faced with courage and a titanic effort: his admirable dedication to work, his ability to face humanitarian crises and his current and evident leadership have been a source of inspiration for many people who have joined to the World Central Kitchen initiative worldwide. It is a project that has also made visible the work of the volunteers they have transformed gastronomy into a strong social tool.

Thanks to Andrés' generosity, the winners of the 10 special mentions will also receive 10 thousand euros for their projects. "Each of these people will be able to change the world in many different ways, "explained the chef. "The money will allow each NGO to move forward."

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