• Women's Adventure Travels

Celebrity Chef and Activist Jose Andres Continues to Feed the Needy and Weary

Updated: May 22

Few chefs can boast a broader reach of restaurant brands and social service initiatives than José Andrés. The celebrity chef gained acclaim when he brought cuisine from his native Spain to the U.S. Those initial forays into the food industry have grown into a culinary empire. Andrés has created dozens of internationally acclaimed dining experiences, and he also works tirelessly to address world hunger.

Introducing José Andrés

José Andrés began his career in Spain, attending the Escola de Restauració I Hostalatge in Barcelona. As a chef, his first professional experience took place during his time in the Spanish Navy. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1991. It took him a mere two years to kick off his first restaurant, Jaleo, in Washington, D.C.

From there, Andrés expanded his reach. He opened and revamped a wide array of D.C. restaurants, including Café Atlantico, Jaleo Bethesda, and Zaytinya. He brought culinary influences from Spain to each establishment. The Jaleo brand helped to popularize tapas in The U.S., small-plate Spanish dishes. In 2005, he published Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America, which became a bestseller.

In 2006, Andrés formed the ThinkFoodGroup to unite his brands under one mission statement, incorporating authenticity, innovation, passion, service, and profitability.

In 2010, three Andrés properties opened their doors in Las Vegas. The ThinkFoodGroup continued to raise money and work with charitable organizations. World Central Kitchen, Andrés' own food security initiative, launched in 2012.

The same year, TIME Magazine named Andrés one of the world's 100 most influential people. His brands and charitable efforts continued to expand, and his career remains as active as ever today.