For the past week, chef and restaurateur José Andrés set his boots firmly on the ground in Puerto Rico, where he traveled shortly after Hurricane Maria. He’s galvanized a network of chefs to nourish residents of the island who’ve been displaced and lack access to food. Working under suboptimal conditions, Andrés and his team have set up a relief kitchen within the Choliseo, San Juan’s largest stadium, and established mobile kitchens and food trucks in Cataño and Ponce.
These efforts are part of the work of World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit Andrés founded after Haiti's 2010 earthquake. As of yesterday, World Central Kitchen estimated it had prepared 50,000 meals, and the organization expects to deliver 100,000 more by the end of the week.
Andrés has been documenting these efforts on Twitter. He and his team have been whipping up mammoth gobs of paella, towers of sandwiches, and pastelón de carne. The work of Andrés and World Central Kitchen is a real sight to behold; it's also far too easy to feel powerless and inactive when seeing them.
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There are two tangible ways you can help sustain World Central Kitchen’s efforts:
Donate directly to World Central Kitchen and fund food, fuel, and travel for chefs.
Dine out at one of the 150 restaurants across the country participating in World Central Kitchen’s fourth annual World Food Day, which will be held on October 13. This year, 10% of participating restaurant’s proceeds will be funneled directly into World Central Kitchen’s efforts in Puerto Rico as well as in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where the organization has been building a culinary school. Find a list of participating restaurants, broken down by region, here.
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.