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José Andrés Fighting to Keep You Safe in the Kitchen

José Andrés Fighting to Keep You Safe in the Kitchen

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Renowned chefs join the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to raise awareness about harmful cooking practices

José Andrés and chefs from around the world met in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, this week to raise awareness about harmful and inefficient cooking practices at the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves’ Clean Cooking Forum.

The group of chefs assembled with the Alliance, a partner of the State Department’s global initiative, at their biennial gathering to promote cleaner and safer cooking practices. Studies published in December by the Global Burden of Disease defined household air pollution as the fourth greatest health risk worldwide.

As the Alliance’s culinary ambassador, Andrés, along with his international colleagues, hopes to use his prominent position in the culinary industry to educate cooks on the harms of unsafe cooking and to develop cleaner practices that are better for health and for the environment. Andrés was joined by chefs from India, Cambodia, and Kenya at the forum in the hope of making their efforts known worldwide.

"As chefs, we feed the few, but we have the know-how and the commitment to help feed the many in safer, more sustainable ways," said Andrés. "What we have seen first-hand and discovered about household air pollution from cooking’s impact on people and the planet has driven us to take action and say, without hesitation, that 'cooking shouldn’t kill.'"

Because of the group’s international appeal, they’ll each be making specific efforts to target the issues surrounding their country’s cooking practices, such as cooking with a chulha stove in India and Kenya’s dependency on cooking with wood and other harmful solid fuels.

Anne Dolce is the Cook editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce

José Andrés Is Just Getting Started in the Fight Against Hunger

The chef and humanitarian talks about the American Dream, why Guy Fieri deserves more credit, and what he learned in Puerto Rico.

Twenty-five years ago, long before he became one of the world’s most famous and important chefs, José Andrés volunteered his time at D.C. Central Kitchen, an organization that turns recycled food into meals for the local community and gives culinary training to the unemployed.

Andrés, who at 23 had opened Jaleo in Washington, D.C., would peel potatoes alongside ex-convicts and think about how lucky he had been in life. Andrés was a young Spanish immigrant who wouldn’t become a United States citizen for another two decades, but he already knew he was on the right side of the American Dream.

“Sometimes, you feel like you bought the right lottery ticket,” he tells Food & Wine. “Sometimes, you feel like other people weren’t even given the opportunity to buy a ticket. It’s a very humbling experience.”

On May 1, during a blowout event at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, Andrés will continue to show the gratitude he has for all that America has given him and his family. So much of what he does, including the work of his World Central Kitchen hunger-relief nonprofit, is about giving back to communities and shining a light on the power of food. The May 1 event, part of the month-long Los Angeles Times Food Bowl festival, is called Changing the World Through the Power of Food and will feature a discussion with Andrés, food critic Jonathan Gold, actress Zooey Deschanel, and others. Sous chefs from L.A. restaurants will also be on stage, preparing food that could be scaled to feed thousands of people during a disaster situation. Then Andrés and the chefs will feed the crowd.

The event will benefit L.A. Kitchen, which feeds the hungry in Los Angeles and was started in 2013 with Andrés as the founding board chairman. L.A. Kitchen&aposs founder and president, Robert Egger, and Andrés are longtime friends. In 1989, Egger was a young nightclub manager who founded D.C. Central Kitchen, where Andrés would later become chairman emeritus. That’s how all this began.

World Central Kitchen and L.A. Kitchen recently teamed up to feed victims of California wildfires. This, of course, happened not long after Andrés and World Central Kitchen served more than three million meals in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. World Central Kitchen, which was launched after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, also showed up in Houston last year to feed victims of Hurricane Harvey.

𠇏ood can be an active agent of change, one community at a time,” Andrés says. “I’m not doing [the May 1 event] for the party. I’m not doing it to have a good time. We’re doing it because it’s a great way to bring awareness and to raise money for a great organization. Sometimes, it feels like $1 is multiplied by $100 because L.A. Kitchen is so efficient and effective. There’s no waste. Every single dollar matters”

Andrés wants to expand his humanitarian efforts. He’s discussing future relief programs with people including food-TV stars Andrew Zimmern, Guy Fieri, and Robert Irvine.

“We’re actively talking about organizing a more cohesive unit,” Andrés says. “So that when something small happens, we can help communities activate themselves. And when something very big happens, we’re a big cohesive force.”

Fieri, who recently made barbecue for California wildfire victims, is somebody that Andrés sees as an important voice for the United States and what it should represent.

“My buddy Guy Fieri, he doesn’t get enough credit,” Andrés says. “I like his show because sometimes he really showcases the forgotten places of America. I love that he’s able to give those places a voice.”

It’s people who aren’t as high-profile as Andrés and Fieri that are the point of all this. Andrés shouts out Bryan and Jennifer Caswell, who participated in Houston relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey destroyed their restaurant, Reef. (The Caswells are working to re-open it.)

“I was very happy and proud to join them,” Andrés says.

He mentions the heroes of Operation BBQ Relief, which has fired up its grills after multiple natural disasters.

“I think we need more software and less hardware,” Andrés says of effective disaster relief. “Ideas and adaptation will always triumph. It’s very hard to prepare for every scenario at the same time. The only scenario we need to prepare for is total disaster, total chaos. If we have total chaos, what will we do to make sure no American is hungry or goes without water? If you answer that question, you will handle anything well.”

Consider Puerto Rico, for example.

“We mobilized thousands of people,” Andrés says. “That was not a small thing. But in the end, when you can feed 100, you can feed 200. Then you realize you can feed 2,000. Then you realize you can feed 4,000. That’s the good thing about chefs. When people are hungry, we can’t do 100,000 meals the first day, but give us a few days. We can ramp up tomorrow.”

Andrés knows he’s fortunate to have a restaurant group with the infrastructure that allows him “to disappear from his restaurants” when necessary. He’s happy his partners haven’t screamed at him about it yet. But it’s important to understand that he’s still running a huge business while trying to improve the world, one meal at a time. He’s still focused on making restaurants like Minibar in Washington D.C., é in Las Vegas, and his new Somni in Los Angeles world-class destinations. He still thinks a lot about Michelin stars and world’s-best lists. He’s competitive like that.

Sometimes, he wishes all he did was run his high-end restaurants. But as much as he enjoys caviar bumps, he knows that his life can’t just be about rarefied dining.

“I wish I could go home and not have to be involved in thinking about feeding people who are hungry, children who don’t have anything to drink,” Andrés says. “I wish I didn’t have to go home and think about DACA and the Dreamers that some people want to kick out of the country. I wish I didn’t have to be thinking about people who work the farms of America and how they’re ghosts of the system and we don’t let them be part of the American Dream. But the reality of the day is we cannot be building walls. I came to realize that and joined the fight. I still want to be the best chef in the world. I’m going to keep working hard on that. But at the same time, I will not be fulfilled if I’m not trying to give back to America and the community and the world that gave so much to me and my family.”

Andrés has three daughters and knows he’s part of an industry that’s built on the backs of immigrants.

“We’re not going to create a better America and address the problems of the world by building walls,” Andrés says. “I’m very selfish. I do this for my daughters, so they can have as good of a life as I’ve had.”

What Andrés dreams of is an America where the hospitality you find at great restaurants is extended to all people during their worst circumstances.

“In the end, restaurants want to provide safe, happy moments to our guests,” Andrés says. 𠇋ut we need to be aware that, in the moment of need, we have a unique talent that could influence the lives of many.”

We’re now Frontline Foods, in partnership with World Central Kitchen

A little over two weeks ago, Frank Barbieri and I were texting. He had been talking to our mutual friend, Sydney Gressel, a RN at the Emergency Department at UCSF Mission Bay. Things were starting to heat up in San Francisco, a lockdown was imminent, and he asked her “how can we help?”. She responded with a simple message — “pizza”.

What we didn’t know at the time was that there were hundreds of people in cities across the country having nearly the same conversation. We connected with this growing army of volunteers and seemingly overnight enabled a network of organizers, now 185 strong across a dozen cities, to share resources and maximize our impact around a simple mission: Help support hospital workers and save our ailing restaurant industry at the same time.

We’ve formalized that federation of organizers now under the banner of Frontline Foods, and we’re announcing a partnership today with World Central Kitchen, an international nonprofit relief organization led by chef José Andrés whose mission is to use the power of food to heal and strengthen communities in times of crisis and beyond.

With medical professionals working 16 hours a day or more, and no time at home to make meals, hospital cafeterias running short on staff and restaurants surrounding hospitals now closed, clinicians need easier access to food so they can be their best when it comes time to keep us all safe from this clear and present threat. At the same time, our friends in the restaurant industry have been devastated by shelter-in-place orders, having their livelihoods taken from them — forcing them to suddenly and jarringly shut down. Bringing these two needs together has now lifted communities across the country searching for a way to help.

We are in awe of how quickly this desire to help coalesced into a national movement. We’ve been adding about one city a day to the program. We have a Slack workspace where volunteers pour in daily and raise their hands to help with skills as diverse as graphic design, software engineering, community organizing, nursing, fundraising, executive management, writing, hospitality, internal tools, 501c3s, and more. The most powerful thing we’ve realized is everyone is in this to help. Clinicians, chefs, donors and now our organizers. During this time of profound uncertainty, we have been heartened by the community’s need to come together and rise to the immense challenge in front of us all.

In this short time, this group has come together to put desire to action and has already raised more than $700,000 nationwide, delivered 7,500 meals to 18 hospitals while supporting 100 restaurants.

While we are amazed by this fast start, we know we are facing an unprecedented crisis and we are fortunate to be joining forces with the incredible team at WCK — the world’s “Food First Responders”. Nobody works as hard on food relief as WCK. They spearheaded the “Plow To Paste” program serving 4 million meals in Puerto Rico and recently provided food for stricken passengers of the Grand Princess cruise ship when it docked in Oakland.

We’re now working with WCK to scale up the national network of COVID “food first responders”, and WCK will give us access to its experienced operations team and 501(c)3 status.

To commemorate this expansion in scope, we have re-branded under Frontline Foods on our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and have launched a national constellation of websites for cities under the Frontline Foods umbrella.

When you donate to Frontline Foods, 100% of your donation goes to restaurants providing meals for hospital workers. We foresee demand for hospital meals and demand from restaurants only increasing in the coming weeks and months, and every dollar you donate will go directly to our programs.

We are also launching our national donation-matching program this week with a $200,000 matching grant from generous donors, so your money will be pulling double its weight in pizza (and other delicious meals).

If you haven’t already, please consider donating today.

Thank you for your support and thank you to all the volunteers who have banded together to jump into the breach. But most importantly, thank you to our frontline healthcare workers fighting every day to keep us safe and to our restaurant industry who is fighting for survival.

We didn’t anticipate being in this fight, but now that we are, it’s comforting to know that we’ve got a food first responder army by our side.

Chef José Andrés gives out $50 gift cards for getting vaccinated

Washington-based Chef José Andrés feels so strongly about people getting vaccinated that he’s basically paying people to get the shot.

“We want everyone vaccinated! Starting tomorrow, until we reach 70% of total population anyone that comes with vaccine papers, that proves that has been vaccinated will get $50 gift certificate for any of @thinkfoodgroup restaurants in the @washingtondc area,” Andrés announced on Twitter on Friday morning.

Less than an hour later, he clarified that only people who got vaccinated Saturday or later will be eligible for the gift card.

"And the gift certificate is for people that are vaccinated starting tomorrow, ok?" he wrote with a crying laughing emoji.

Ok! We want everyone vaccinated! Starting tomorrow, until we reach 70% of total population anyone that comes with vaccine papers,that proves that has been vaccinated will get $50 gift certificate for any of @thinkfoodgroup restaurants in the @washingtondc area.

— Please wear a mask! Do it for the World please. (@chefjoseandres) May 7, 2021

A spokesperson from ThinkFoodGroup told local outlet DCist that customers could show their “fully vaccinated card at Jaleo DC, Jaleo Crystal City, Oyamel, Zaytinya, or China Chilcano and receive a $50 card for future use within the next 30 days, food only.”

Andrés has several restaurants in the Washington area and still more around the world. He’s best known, however, for his work as founder of the food relief organization World Central Kitchen.

The NGO has prepared and delivered millions of meals to people in need — everyone from survivors of natural disasters like Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and Hurricane Harvey in Texas to first responders following the riot at the U.S. Capitol in January.

In a Twitter video at the time, Andrés explained his philosophy about feeding whoever is in need during a crisis.

“I know it’s a lot of controversies and everything, but we feed people,” he said. “We feed anybody and everybody and we activate when there is need, and today police (are keeping) my beautiful Washington, D.C. safe.”

He also transformed several of his Washington D.C. and New York City restaurants into community kitchens at the onset of the pandemic.

[email protected] on giving away $50 gift cards for his D.C. restaurants to those who get vaccinated, "only giving back a little bit of everything that I got as an #immigrant when I joined this country 28 years ago." #SundayShow

— The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart (@TheSundayShow) May 9, 2021

Sunday on MSNBC, the chef said he was hoping to convince people to get vaccinated with the gift certificate deal.

"I would not say it's a 'plan,' but it's just one more way that a citizen like me can be helping change the minds of people that maybe are not sure yet about getting the vaccine," he said. "If getting a gift card into one of my restaurants so they can bring their families is the way to convince them to get the vaccine, I think this is my little contribution in my community in Washington, in Maryland, in Virginia, to make sure that at least we reach 70%."


Food Deals and food freebies you can score with a COVID-19 vaccine card

The Centers for Disease Control reported that as of Monday evening, 46% of the total U.S. population has received at least one dose of the vaccine and about 35% of people are fully vaccinated. In Washington D.C., city health officials reported as of Monday night, only 24% of residents are fully vaccinated.

Monday night, Andrés spoke with Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) on Instagram Live and said he is feeling optimistic about the future.

“It seems America is getting more and more people vaccinated,” he said from his home in Washington D.C. suburb Bethesda, Maryland. “Slowly but surely more people coming back to work. Slowly but surely opening businesses. I’m dreaming of the America and the world we all want to be a part of.”

“So, very happy today. A lot of things to do, but every day I feel more empowered to keep this fight against COVID and keep making America obviously the most amazing country in the world.”

The 2020 Saveur 100: 11-20

How José Andres helped keep us sane, meet the folks feeding the racial justice movement, and find out our favorite childrens' snack.

Maura McEvoy

11. Best Excuse for Dinner and Dancing

Amid the dark, early days of curve-flattening, when a peculiar combination of anxiety and lethargy sucked the life from every…housebound…moment, José Andrés came to my rescue. Yes, that José Andrés, the superhero chef who magically appears wherever disaster strikes, offering sustenance to those affected by cruel twists of weather, politics, or plague. Only now he was in my kitchen, doling out #recipesforthe­people via Instagram. Time both slowed down and sped up as I watched @chefjoseandres attempt a home-cooked meal from start to finish during a single song—usually selected by his three daughters (ages 16, 19, and 21), often from the musical Hamilton, and always played at a volume intended to encourage dancing. Dance he did while stir-frying ­leftovers, spilling shredded carrots and cabbage all over the stovetop, and pumping his fist in time to “Rise Up!” during “My Shot.” Suddenly, I could face my own three children with something akin to optimism. José Andrés—also stuck at home, also saddled with the nightly “What’s for dinner?” loop—had transformed the mundane into the magical. Thank you, Chef! —Catherine Tillman Whalen

12. Compost in a Hurry

I can’t bear adding to the 30.6 million tons of food waste dumped in US landfills each year. So, when New York City paused its curbside composting program this past May (­pandemic-related budget issues, they say), I went scrambling for alternatives. After a failed experiment in vermi­culture (the worms couldn’t keep up with my coronavirus ­cooking) and a frustrating experience with a backyard bin (you try maintaining the right carbon-to-nitrogen ratio), I finally discovered ­Vitamix’s ­FoodCycler. The size of a bread machine and as quiet as a dishwasher, this machine transformed eggshells, veggie peels, cheese, and meat bits into compost overnight (three to eight hours, depending on what’s in the bin). This is composting made so easy, maybe everyone will want to get on board. —Erin Scottberg

13. Best In-Flight Cocktail

Kellie Thorn is the beverage ­director for Hugh Acheson’s Atlanta restaurants, Empire State South and By George. She’s also refreshingly down-to-earth. When Thorn does find herself sky-high, she orders the youngest cognac very little money can buy (usually a VS, or “very ­special” blend) and combines it with ­standard-issue apple juice. “I call this my airplane drink, but it’s also among my most irreverent mixes,” Thorn says. “The sweet juice softens the sharp edges of the young brandy.” Her ideal ratio: 2 parts ­cognac to 3 parts apple juice, tempered by a splash of soda if you’re feeling ­cautious and/or the flight is long.

14. Pork Cracklins Are So Last Season.

Fried fish skin has an umami factor that beats pigs, chickens, and other barnyard ­competition, fins down. At convenience stores in Singapore, we grab for Golden Duck’s fish-skin crisps, made from dory ($39 for five 4.4-ounce bags the­ Our favorite flavors: Salted Egg Yolk and the hotter Sichuan Mala Hotpot. After polishing off a bag of either, save the crumbs at the bottom to season noodle soup or boost a plain bowl of rice. —Shane Mitchell

15. Earth-Friendliest Fish You’ve Never Heard Of

Sustainable, a snap to clean, and strangely adorable (that underbite is kind of every­thing), itty-bitty Atlantic butterfish ($6.50 per pound ­fultonfish­ are tastiest in fall, once the species—Peprilus triacanthus—has had a chance to put on a few ounces. Cook this mild-­flavored bycatch of Rhode Island’s booming squid industry the way James Mitchell, the chef at Newport’s Midtown Oyster Bar, does: roasted in a hot oven, over a bed of ­tomatoes, fennel, and thyme (get the recipe here).

Fuel The People’s mission is to feed those on the front lines fighting for justice for Black people, while supporting local Black and POC-owned restaurants and businesses. Austin Harrison

16. Food and Justice for All

I was an adult when I learned that my ­great-aunt routinely cooked for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and other civil rights leaders during the campaign to desegregate Albany, Georgia.

In ­social-justice movements, not everyone is called to march. Bravery and commitment can also be revealed in a homemade meal freely given in the spirit of mutual aid. From Leah Chase in New Orleans to Georgia Gilmore, who sold food to raise funds for the Montgomery bus boycott, Black women quite literally fed the front lines in every city where the ­movement of the 1950s and 1960s took hold.

I wish I could have peered into the kitchens of Allegra Tomassa Massaro and Gaïana Joseph this past summer as the two prepared sandwiches for the people protesting the police killing of George Floyd in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Massaro and Joseph, both graduates of Seven Sisters ­colleges, lead corporate lives by day: The former works in ethics compliance in D.C. the latter is a project manager in Manhattan. Both also have Black skin. In a world where people have to be told that Black lives mean something, Massaro’s and Joseph’s achievements are no shield from bigotry or violence. They know this. So, to show solidarity, they put turkey, chicken, ham, and homemade pesto and mozzarella between slices of bread, then enlisted friends and family members, including their brothers Lorenzo Massaro and Roodharvens Joseph, to ­distribute the ­sandwiches to hungry marchers.

When the women shared their story on Instagram, neighborhood restaurants run by Black and other chefs of color offered to make food: the Bergen and Lakou Café in Brooklyn, and Sunrise Caribbean and Taste of Jamaica in D.C. Donations rolled in to pay the restaurants.

And so Massaro and Joseph’s initiative, which they christened Fuel the People, followed in the footsteps of the female bakers whose “Club from Nowhere” supported the Montgomery bus boycott—the footsteps of the great Dooky Chase down in New Orleans, and of my Aunt Lucy on Lincoln Avenue in Albany, Georgia.

The most consequential presidential election in decades is coming this November. Lines are likely to be long. People will get tired. They’ll get hungry. And it’s possible that Fuel the People will be there for them. There are so many ways to serve. —Rosalind Bentley

17. Three Words: Duck. Fat. Tortillas.

In Spanish, caramelo translates as “caramel.” In Mexican Spanish, it refers to a taco from northern Mexico filled with creamy queso Chihuahua and carne asada. But in the United States, Caramelo is the name of a company that turns out some of the country’s best flour ­tortillas in…Lawrence, Kansas? That’s home base for Ruben Leal, a University of Kansas administrator, whose homesickness for the ethereally thin tortillas de harina of his native Sonora, Mexico, led to this passion project. The results, small and freezable, are available in three flavors: duck fat (meaty), lard (delightfully porky), and avocado oil for the vegans. Of course, Caramelo tortillas make for great tacos, but they’re also delicious all on their own—as chewy and sweet as, well, caramel. —Gustavo Arellano

Unlike most airport eateries, most of the customers at the Salty Owl, located inside Maine’s Knox County Regional Airport, are locals. Courtesy The Salty Owl

18. Looking for a Reason to Charter a Flight to Owls Head, Maine? Look No Further.

“Airport” plus “food.” Fairly recently, these two words added up to a punchline. Then Danny Meyer, Emeril Lagasse, and Rick Bayless began staking claims upon JFK, O’Hare, and LAX. Still, let’s be honest: Gordon Ramsay himself is not flipping those ricotta pancakes in Heathrow’s Terminal 5.

Casey Dominguez and Erin Armbruster, however, personally craft every single serving of lobster-corn quiche or vegetable curry served at the Salty Owl, the couple’s quirky café inside the Knox County Regional ­Airport of Owls Head, Maine (population 1,607). The husband-and-wife team’s most popular specialty—hand pies, both sweet and savory—is no surprise. “­Portable meals,” Armbruster ­explains, “are ideal for air travel.”

The shocker involves the number of repeat customers flying neither in nor out. “We had no idea,” she says, “that most of our business would come from locals. But in a small town, word travels quickly.” —Mindy Fox

19. Networking in Her Chosen Field

Lane Selman, an ­agricultural researcher at Oregon State University, spent her first five years on the job connecting plant breeders and organic farmers in hopes of developing new varieties that address practical issues, like drought tolerance and pest resistance. Then, in 2010, while watching chefs shop at the Portland Farmers Market, Selman had an aha moment. Chefs, farther down the supply chain and closer to the end user, had an entirely different set of concerns. “All of these people,” she recalls, “the chefs and the farmers and the plant breeders, needed to be talking to each other.” So she invited about 30 farmer and chef friends to evaluate nine sweet peppers in development at OSU. After sampling them raw, roasted, and sautéed, the group gave five ­peppers high marks for flavor, but the chefs saw only one viable option: the pepper with the roundest shoulders and straightest walls, traits that speed up prep and reduce food waste in a commercial kitchen. “It was so reasonable,” Selman says. “In hindsight, it seems ridiculous that I didn’t see it sooner.” The following year, she founded the nonprofit ­Culinary Breeding Network, which keeps everyone in touch through tastings held around the country, while also educating the public via funky, veggie-centric zines. One recent success story: a broadleaf kale named Simone, a vigorous grower with flavorful, multicolored leaves that are far easier to de-stem than most varieties.

20. Baby Food We Eat by the Fistful

Now widely considered a back-seat ­diversion for car-seat-bound toddlers—yet once served, alongside martinis, by Julia Child—Pepperidge Farm Goldfish got their start in 1958 as a tribute to the wife of the cracker’s Swiss inventor, Oscar J. Kambly. (The beguiling Mrs. Kambly was a Pisces.) Four years later, Pepperidge Farm brought the recipe to America, and one of our most iconic nibbles was born. Always equal parts high and low, the snack embraced unabashed sophistication in 1969, with the introduction of its sublime Parmesan flavor. Enjoy them, as Julia might have, with ice-cold gin and a dollop of caviar. —­Cara Cragan

Restaurant Leaders Release New National Indoor Dining Safety Standards

As many cities and states ease restrictions on indoor dining, and with the full return of outdoor dining in many parts of the country, a group of restaurant industry leaders and organizations have released the first national safety standards for dining in an attempt to simplify and streamline city, state and federal guidelines and ensure a safe working and dining environment for employees and customers.

The new national guidelines released Wednesday, called Safety First: Protecting Workers and Diners as Restaurants Reopen, were developed by the Food and Society Programat the Aspen Institute, with support from Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, and in collaboration with José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, the James Beard Foundation, the National Restaurant Association, the Independent Restaurant Coalition, and One Fair Wage. Through these partners, Safety First will be distributed to over a half million restaurant workers and operators across the country.

Safety First features several one-page summaries and infographics that distill the most essential information for restaurants around the country to display.

  • The Diner Code of Conduct lays out the expectations of guests while dining inside to maintain a safe indoor dining environment.
  • Our Covid Pledge lays out the expectations of restaurant operators and workers to create a safe indoor dining environment.
  • The Ventilation Guidelines gives restaurants practical, affordable, and accessible guidance on ventilation systems and best practices.

“Restaurant operators and workers have been working around the clock to bring their restaurants back—and finally they’re seeing that they have a chance. But it’s been next to impossible for them to keep up with complicated, constantly changing procedures and protocols recommended by city, state, and federal authorities,” says Corby Kummer, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Food and Society Program. “So we set out to create one practical, streamlined, easy-to-use set of guidelines that will guarantee best practices for keeping both workers and diners safe as restaurants reopen.”

Anchored primarily by Dr. Sam Dooley, a retired infection-control specialist who spent 32 years at the Centers for Disease Control, Safety First follows the latest guidance from the CDC and leading members of the Big Cities Health Coalition, and state and city health departments. Uniquely, it was also developed in partnership with the Safety First Executive Committee and Advisors, which the Food and Society Program at the Aspen Institute formed during the initial weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak, and includes leading chefs and restaurant owners, nationally recognized ventilation engineers with decades of experience designing restaurants, safety heads of international hotel companies, leaders of Feeding America, and others.

“Since the beginning of this pandemic, World Central Kitchen has worked closely with over 2,500 restaurants around the country with our Restaurants for the People program, and I am very proud that the Safety First meal preparation guidelines that we created last year have empowered each and every one of them to keep their teams and the communities they’ve served healthy and safe,” says José Andrés, founder of World Central Kitchen and co-founder of the Independent Restaurant Coalition. “And now, with Aspen and Corby leading a great coalition of partners, we have established updated guidelines as restaurants are reopening to the public, thinking of the entire restaurant ecosystem – back of house, front of house, and guests – to make sure that everyone can enjoy restaurants in a safe, healthy way.”

The guide’s core infographics - the Diner Code of Conduct, Our Covid Pledge, and the Ventilation Guidelines - are also available in Spanish, which can be downloaded here.

“We at the James Beard Foundation see Safety First as a common sense guide for restaurants to help them maneuver and operate after a year of crisis,” says Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation. “Throughout the pandemic, our Open for Good campaign has been providing critical resources to help independent restaurants survive, build the capacity to return stronger, and thrive for the long term, and we’re proud to have Safety First in our toolkit.”

“Since the onset of the pandemic, the National Restaurant Association has been working with federal, state and local officials, along with restaurant operators of every type and size to identify and implement solutions that keep restaurant employees and guests safe,” adds Tom Bené, president & CEO, National Restaurant Association. Safety First brings together the critical elements of ventilation, health, and safety to further assist restaurant operators and guests as they fully reopen and resume serving their communities.”

"One Fair Wage is proud to partner with the Aspen Institute to help provide guidelines to keep our workers and our communities safe," says Saru Jayaraman, founder of One Fair Wage.

First look: Disney Springs' Jaleo restaurant with Chef Jose Andres

Chef Jose Andres has quite a resume, including a string of successful restaurants and philanthropic endeavors that landed him a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. He’s a veteran of the Spanish navy. He was awarded a National Humanities Medal at the White House in 2016. And now he’s achieved a long-simmering goal: To have a Spanish restaurant at Walt Disney World. His Jaleo opened this week at Disney Springs.

Here’s what we learned about Andres, his career and the new Jaleo during chats with the chef, fresh off a flight from New York, during an event at the new restaurant Thursday.

• Andres’ desire to have a restaurant at Disney dates to his youth, back to the early days of Epcot. He was disappointed to read that there was no Spain pavilion at the theme park. “OK, the French can have a great restaurant in Disney. Why can Spain not?” He says he later looked into the idea of opening at Epcot, but it was complicated by being a government partnership. And even more years later, the Disney Springs opportunity arrived. “You wait and you persist and things happen,” he said.

• The exterior design of the restaurant, in the West Side section of Disney Springs, is meant to resemble an artichoke. Andres hired architect Juli Capella of Capella Garcia Arquitectura. “He is a very good friend … who has done already with me a few projects,” Andres said. “He’s an architect. At the same time he’s one of the best interior designers. He knows everything about the Spanish pop culture and pop art. He was the right guy to do this.”

Sean Sherman

Sean Sherman, a Minnesota-based, Oglala Lakota chef had been working in restaurants since his family moved off South Dakota’s Indian Pine Ridge Reservation when he was 13. At 27, Sherman—by then a well-regarded chef in Minneapolis—had a disorienting epiphany. “I realized I could easily name hundreds of European recipes off the top of my head,” Sherman tells SELF. “But I didn't know anything about Lakota food at that moment.” So he set out to learn everything he could, studying ethnobotany and agriculture, sourcing recipes from elders, and seeking out heirloom varieties of seeds from local farmers.

Today, Sherman’s career is dedicated to reviving Indigenous foodways and reshaping North American cuisine. In 2014, he opened the Sioux Chef, a caterer and food education initiative in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area with a menu featuring regional Indigenous foods, like those of the Oglala Lakota, Anishinaabe, and Navajo peoples. In 2018, his exploration of the Indigenous cuisine of the Dakota and Minnesota territories, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, won the James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook. That same year, Sherman cofounded North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NāTIFS), a nonprofit dedicated to addressing some of the health and economic suffering in Native communities. This summer, NāTIFS will open its first Indigenous Food Lab in Minneapolis. The education and research hub will help cultivate “a new generation of Indigenous food professionals and academics,” Sherman says, with training in Indigenous practices (like plant-gathering and preparation) and operating a culinary business.

It’s a model Sherman would like to replicate in Indigenous communities across the U.S., from Albuquerque to Alaska, with each lab incubating local entrepreneurs. After that, maybe Mexico, Australia, or South America. “We look at this Indigenous perspective on a global scale,” Sherman says. “There's Indigenous peoples around the world, and so many of them have been eradicated, dismantled, or broken by colonialism, much like a lot of the tribes in the U.S. We want to help them find a path toward rebuilding.”

SELF: How has the pandemic influenced your work?

Sherman: We were getting ready to launch the first Indigenous Food Lab, then COVID hit. We decided to move forward and get the kitchen up and going anyways, and we moved into food relief. We started doing 400 meals a day with healthy Indigenous foods—purchasing food from Indigenous vendors first and local growers to support that local food system. We've been sending out 10,000 meals a week as of the past couple of months.

SELF: What do you feel the most pressing problem related to food in your area of expertise?

Sherman: Obviously, we live in a very colonized world, so most people have very little sense of the land and the history of the land that they're on, and the Indigenous communities that have lived there or still live there today. Part of this is just bringing to light that a lot of these Indigenous issues are very much alive, including this kind of modern-day segregation because of the reservation systems. A lot of us, like myself, grow up on commodity food programs, not having access to healthy food that is even close to being culturally appropriate.

SELF: What does the future of healthy eating look like to you?

Sherman: More access to regionally produced and community-based foods. Indigenous food systems are micro-regional, using a mixture of agriculture and permaculture—ideally as a way to supplement a ton of food for your community, and have some community effort involved. Hopefully, we can influence some cities to landscape with the purpose of food in mind, have training so people can harvest and process that food, and create food pantries in unique areas. So people can see how a localized food pantry would be different if you were in Minneapolis compared to the L.A. or Seattle area, that amazing diversity. And, you know, all this has already been accomplished before because of Indigenous communities and the food systems that they carried with them for millennia.

After Capitol Hill riot, where does US go from here?

In a video in the same tweet, Andrés added that he was there with his daughter, Ines. He said that restaurants were closed because of the 6 p.m. citywide emergency curfew, and he wanted to ensure that members of law enforcement had meals.

“Hopefully in a very strange, complicated night, we’re going to make sure that those young men and women, often forgotten, can be taken care of,” he said in the video.

He and his staff also apparently worked late into the night preparing food for first responders.

I don’t know what else to do right now. so we @WCKitchen just started cooking. Pizzas weren’t enough for everyone. many have been working over 30 hours nonstop. So we turned Jaleo into WCK kitchen cooking 100s of hot stews on this cold night. plus fried egg sandwiches & fruit!

— Please wear a mask! Do it for the World please. (@chefjoseandres) January 7, 2021

"I don’t know what else to do right now. so we @WCKitchen just started cooking," the chef said in another tweet. "Pizzas weren’t enough for everyone. many have been working over 30 hours nonstop. So we turned Jaleo into WCK kitchen cooking 100s of hot stews on this cold night. plus fried egg sandwiches & fruit!"

1am and @chefjoseandres is frying up eggs for sandwiches. The @WCKitchen team also prepared vermicelli pasta with sausage, potato and vegetables for everyone working through the night here in DC following today’s mob insurrection.

— Nate Mook (@natemook) January 7, 2021

Nate Mook, the CEO of World Central Kitchen, tweeted a photo of Andrés cooking.

“1am and @chefjoseandres is frying up eggs for sandwiches,” he said. "The @WCKitchen team also prepared vermicelli pasta with sausage, potato and vegetables for everyone working through the night here in DC following today’s mob insurrection.”

Top five ways to keep the kitchen clean while cooking

Cook and then clean? We think not! Here are five tips to clean your kitchen while you cook.


Starting off with a clean kitchen is the key to keeping your kitchen clean while cooking. Pre-clean your counters and floors to create a clean and inviting atmosphere. Starting off with a clean kitchen will trick your mind into keeping it clean.

Off limits

If you want to keep your kitchen clean while you’re cooking, close it off to family members. While this may be a hard task for your younger children, older children will be more than obliged when threatened to help clean up the mess. Keep toddlers occupied by setting up their play kitchen items in close proximity, encouraging them to cook along with mommy. If dad is home, suggest that he take the kiddos to the park while you prepare the evening meal.

The right spot

Selecting a specific place in the kitchen to cook a meal can help keep your kitchen clean while cooking. When using the stove, utilize the counter space alongside for an easy and convenient place to cook. If your kitchen is adorned with an island, utilize only the island, transferring food into the appropriate dinnerware straight from the mixing bowl and to the stove. Portable islands are great for smaller kitchens and easily stored. We love this black, sleek island priced at $161 from

One essential way to keep your kitchen clean is to prep your food. Take out the essential items needed for your meal, alongside appropriate mixing bowls &mdash we love Target&rsquos 6 pack pinch bowls by Michael Graves for a steal at $6 &mdash and measuring cups and prepare what is needed prior to doing the cooking. Prepping the needed ingredients will assist in keeping your mess more manageable and much smaller.


If you&rsquore a mom and wife, multi-tasking is second nature. Take your skills into the kitchen and clean while you cook. Saute onions while cleaning out a mixing bowl and reuse it for the chicken. Just don&rsquot forget to keep an eye out to avoid any burnt food. Use a cute kitchen timer to keep track of meal time. The Neato Shop has caught the Owl fever with this cutesy Owl kitchen timer priced at $18.

Extra Tip

Print out these great food coloring sheets kids can color tonight&rsquos meal while you cook it!

Quarantine Cooking: MICHELIN Chefs Share Recipes On Social Media

Top chefs around the world like Eric Ripert, Massimo Bottura and Guy Martin are taking to social media during their restaurant downtime to share recipes and videos from their own home kitchens.

As millions around the world do their part to fight the Covid-19 pandemic by staying home and practising social distancing to slow the spread of the disease, more are picking up their pans and cooking at home before sharing their creations online. Professional chefs, too, are rising to the occasion and doing what they do best — cooking in the time of coronavirus. The top toques of MICHELIN-star restaurants around the world like Eric Ripert, Massimo Bottura and Guy Martin are taking to social media during their restaurant downtime to share recipes and videos from their own home kitchens.

Whether you're a novice just getting started or looking to level up behind the stove, indulge in some feel-good home cooking and find some culinary inspiration here.

Chefs and MICHELIN inspectors alike have contributed their favourite home cooking recipes on the official MICHELIN Guide Instagram under the hashtag #michelinguideathome. You'll find straightforward recipes in easy-to-follow steps, such as Stephanie Le Quellec's (La Scene, two stars) Green Pea Spaghetti With Iberian Ham, Gordon Ramsay's (Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, three stars) Marinara Sauce and an anonymous inspector's Citrus Marmalade, complete with cute illustrations and helpful metric conversions.

Watch the video: Chef José Andrés Walks Through The Ingredients Behind His Eggs Cooked In Sausage-Tomato Sauce (May 2022).