We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time (Paperback)
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.
José Andrés has twice been named to Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” and was awarded “Outstanding Chef” and “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation. He is an internationally recognized culinary innovator, educator, humanitarian, Emmy-nominated television personality, and New York Times bestselling author of We Fed an Island and Vegetables Unleashed. A pioneer of Spanish tapas in the United States, he is also known for his groundbreaking avant-garde cuisine and his award-winning restaurant collective, José Andrés Group, with more than 30 restaurants across the U.S. and abroad—including Zaytinya and The Bazaar by José Andrés. In 2010, Andrés founded World Central Kitchen, a non-profit which uses the power of food to nourish communities and strengthen economies in times of crisis and beyond. One of his newest ventures, José Andrés Media, produces unscripted and scripted television series, books, podcasts, and digital short and mid-form content with a focus on food-related stories and characters and the culture of food.
“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