José Andrés: Who is the philanthropic chef attending State of the Union as Nancy Pelosi's guest?

The chef is a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nominee

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Tuesday 05 February 2019 23:26 GMT
What is the State of the Union?

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Louise Thomas

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Nancy Pelosi has invited a multitude of guests to Tuesday’s State of the Union - including chef José Andrés.

The chef confirmed he would be attending on Twitter, where he responded to an inquiry regarding restaurants hosting State of the Union watch parties.

“No… but I am going,” Andrés wrote.

A spokesperson for the House speaker’s office confirmed to The Hill Andrés was invited as a guest.

The chef's attendance should come as no surprise, as the SOTU won’t be the first time this year the chef, activist and philanthropist has become involved in politics.

Who is Chef Andrés?

Andrés is a Spanish-born chef, restaurateur, and founder of World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing meals for people in disaster zones.

Through World Central Kitchen, Andrés has helped millions of people in the wake of disasters all over the world - including those in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria and survivors of the deadly wildfires in California.

Most recently, Andrés dedicated his efforts to the US Capitol, where he opened a kitchen to feed furloughed federal employees free meals during the government shutdown.

At the time, he said: “We believe no person should have to go through the pain of not knowing what to feed the children.”

For his humanitarian work, Andrés has previously been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

He also received the awards of Humanitarian of the Year and Outstanding Chef from the James Beard Foundation and has been nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for his disaster relief efforts.

The chef is also an outspoken critic of President Trump.

In addition to backing out of plans to open a restaurant in Trump International Hotel following anti-immigration comments made by the president, Andrés has on numerous occasions questioned Trump’s policies, including after Hurricane Maria.

Pelosi helped Andrés hand out food to furloughed workers during government shutdown (Getty)
Pelosi helped Andrés hand out food to furloughed workers during government shutdown (Getty)

In January of last year, the chef offered lunch to all of the winners of the president’s Fake News awards.

Andrés and Pelosi will be joined at the SOTU by other guests including Chef Tyler Florence, Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen, and Fred Guttenberg, a father of a student killed in the Parkland shooting.

The president will deliver his second State of the Union Tuesday.

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The Independent has contacted Nancy Pelosi’s office for comment.

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