In the current onslaught of natural disasters, it's uplifting to read how people united by their desire literally to feed the masses after Hurricane Maria managed to succeed when Trump, FEMA, and even the American Red Cross failed miserably. Their story serves as a model for rethinking emergency relief measures and using a combo of good will and social media to help each other. Recommended by Jeanette— From Our Favorite Non-Fiction for Adults
FOREWORD BY LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA AND LUIS A. MIRANDA, JR.
The true story of how a group of chefs fed hundreds of thousands of hungry Americans after Hurricane Maria and touched the hearts of many more
Chef José Andrés arrived in Puerto Rico four days after Hurricane Maria ripped through the island. The economy was destroyed and for most people there was no clean water, no food, no power, no gas, and no way to communicate with the outside world.
Andrés addressed the humanitarian crisis the only way he knew how: by feeding people, one hot meal at a time. From serving sancocho with his friend José Enrique at Enrique’s ravaged restaurant in San Juan to eventually cooking 100,000 meals a day at more than a dozen kitchens across the island, Andrés and his team fed hundreds of thousands of people, including with massive paellas made to serve thousands of people alone.. At the same time, they also confronted a crisis with deep roots, as well as the broken and wasteful system that helps keep some of the biggest charities and NGOs in business.
Based on Andrés’s insider’s take as well as on meetings, messages, and conversations he had while in Puerto Rico, We Fed an Island movingly describes how a network of community kitchens activated real change and tells an extraordinary story of hope in the face of disasters both natural and man-made, offering suggestions for how to address a crisis like this in the future.
Beyond that, a portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the Chef Relief Network of World Central Kitchen for efforts in Puerto Rico and beyond.
About the Author
Matt Goulding is an Emmy- and James Beard Award–winning writer and the New York Times bestselling author of over twenty books. He is also the cofounder of Roads & Kingdoms, the 2017 James Beard Publication of the Year.
José Andrés is a Michelin-starred, James Beard Award–winning chef, and was named among Time’s “100 Most Influential People.” He is the founder and chairman of World Central Kitchen, the NGO behind #ChefsForPuertoRico, and cofounder of ThinkFoodGroup, which has more than thirty restaurants around the world. He is also the author of three cookbooks and the New York Times best-selling We Fed an Island, which describes how Andrés and his team cooked for hundreds of thousands of hungry Americans in Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
“José Andrés’s work to build a massive relief operation from the ground up after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico was nothing short of miraculous—and a powerful reminder that we all have a responsibility to do what we can to help one another in times of need.”
— President Bill Clinton
“In the days and weeks after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, José Andrés seemed to always be in constant motion. . . but it’s only in the pages of this book that the scale of their contribution becomes clear. What an amazing story!”
— Anderson Cooper
“When disaster hit Puerto Rico, José Andrés didn’t wait . . . His big heart and boundless energy could not be restrained by red tape. People were hungry, and José is a chef. Chefs feed people. . . He is a leader, an innovator, and a true hero.”
— Anthony Bourdain
“We know personally of the incredible commitment, ingenuity, and solutions that José brings to our world and the impact this book can have in actually making changes and improving the way we deal with natural disasters. We feel privileged to call him our friend.”
— Gloria and Emilio Estefan
“A manifesto asking governments and nonprofit groups to rethink the way they feed people after a natural disaster…as close to a page-turner as current-affairs nonfiction gets.”
— Washington Post