Chef Jose Andres on Giving and Getting Back in Haiti
This week the New York Times published an article about Jose Andres, a Spanish-born chef. He is the owner of 21 restaurants around the country and in Puerto Rico and his interest for the Haiti Island lately, has caught a lot of attention. He is currently hosting a television documentary on the PBS network, in which he explores the Caribbean island of Haiti. In this documentary he also talks about his favorite dishes; especially the dijon-dijon mushroom with chicken, and the adventures that viewers can see about this place as he tries to convince the audience to consider Haiti for getaways by talking about its food and attractions such as the perfect beaches and the waterfalls in the jungles where swimming is ideal. What I found very interesting is that sometimes he likes to explore the island with friends like former President Bill Clinton.
His idea to produce this documentary came after visiting Haiti following the earthquake in 2010. According to the information recorded in an interview, he has expressed his fascinated with Haiti and his goal of changing the island’s negative image after the earthquake and help resolve in addition to its poverty issues by showing its beauty hoping others would visit it too.
Chef Jose Andres created a nonprofit organization which he named “World Central Kitchen”. This organization is intended to help Haitians feed themselves. It educates people about healthy and efficient methods of preparing food. His goal is to teach people about clean cookstoves, using solar and natural gas to preserve forest, farming and fishing industries.
Through this organization he empowered five different communities by giving them smart solutions to hunger. Furthermore, he also has a network of volunteer chefs from the U.S. who visit the communities and teach them lessons on how to cook and feed themselves.
Frankly, before reading this article, I would have never thought about visiting Haiti because the first idea that would probably come to mind is the devastating conditions after the earthquake and its poverty. But upon reading this article, not only do I want to watch his documentary on PBS but I am truly considering Haiti as one of my future travel destinations.