Chef José Andrés Rises As the 2018 James Beard Humanitarian Honoree

James Beard Award-winning Chef, Restaurateur, and Philanthropist José Andrés has been named the recipient of the 2018 James Beard Humanitarian Award.

You may remember hearing about Andrés recently when the celebrity chef turned activist opted to Tweet a selfie expressing he was allegedly not allowed to enter an event in Washington D.C., at the restaurant owner’s and Ivanka Trump’s request. When the first daughter personally replied back to Andrés clarifying that she had nothing to do with the misunderstanding, the chef took the opportunity to bring up a political issue close to him—immigration.

It’s this fearless commitment to standing up for what he believes and Andres’ impressive hurricane relief efforts that got the chef the Humanitarian honoree distinction from the James Beard Foundation. In the same spirit, those are the actions that inspired the 2018 Awards event theme “RISE,” aiming to applaud “the community of chefs and industry leaders who rise to the occasion,” according to an organization statement.

“The Foundation is thrilled to name José Andrés as the 2018 Humanitarian of the Year,” said Mitchell Davis, executive vice president of the James Beard Foundation, in a press release. “José’s work in Puerto Rico and Haiti shows how chefs can use their expertise and unique skills to enact profound change on a global scale. He has demonstrated how, at the most difficult times, hot-cooked meals provide more than nutrition, they provide dignity. And we couldn’t imagine a more fitting honoree this year as we celebrate how chefs and our industry Rise.”

Andrés expressed, in a statement, his appreciation for the people involved in the relief efforts and with whom he wants to share the recognition and award with, including: everyone involved with his non-profit World Central Kitchens, #ChefsforPuertoRico, #ChefsforCalifornia, and his good friend and nonprofit leader Robert Egger.

“Whether it’s teaching and preparing a meal alongside people who have just started a new chapter, empowering communities through clean cookstoves, or cooking meals for people who have experienced unimaginable devastation, I’ve learned that food is powerful,” said Chef Andrés. “It nourishes, but it also has the power to be an agent of hope and change.”

The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala will be held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 7, 2018.

To learn more visit James Beard Foundation!