We fed an island The true story of rebuilding Puerto Rico, one meal at a time

José Andrés

Book - 2018

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.

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Subjects
Published
New York : Ecco, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers [2018]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
An Anthony Bourdain book
Foreword by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Luis A. Miranda, Jr.
Physical Description
xii, 267 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 259-267).
ISBN
9780062864482
0062864483
Main Author
José Andrés (author)
Other Authors
Richard Wolffe, 1968- (author), Lin-Manuel Miranda, 1980- (writer of foreword), Luis A. Miranda
  • Prologue
  • Landfall
  • Feed the world
  • Discovery
  • Big water
  • In the arena
  • Ready to eat
  • Seeing red
  • Transitions
  • Epilogue.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Four days after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, acclaimed chef José Andrés arrived on the island to do what he could to feed its hungry people fresh, nourishing meals. Wrangling a group of friends and fellow chefs in San Juan, he quickly founded and became chair of World Central Kitchen, the NGO that eventually served 100,000 meals daily via kitchens in restaurants, schools, a church, and a stadium. In the midst of this massive undertaking, he was thwarted by government red tape, an enormous lack of understanding of the scope of the natural disaster and the abject failure of FEMA, and even the Red Cross (Andrés has no problem naming names) in his effort to get good food, not the dreaded MREs, to fellow Americans. Impassioned and unwavering in his resolve, Andrés and equally committed coauthor Wolffe do a masterful job of detailing World Central Kitchen's work. They also provide a primer on Puerto Rican history and a brisk analysis of how the federal government failed its citizens and why a new system for addressing food needs in the wake of disasters must be developed. This is an earthshaking report on Hurricane Maria's catastrophic aftermath and a hopeful and determined look toward preventing similar failures in the future. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: James Beard-winning chef Andrés, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People, and Puerto Rico's ongoing struggles make this a hot title.  Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

This lovely, energizing story from Michelin-starred chef Andrés and his frequent cookbook coauthor Wolffe (Made in Spain) provides an antidote to passivity and cynicism. Having done food relief work in Haiti in 2010, Andrés was ready to help feed the people of Puerto Rico after the island was ravaged by Hurricane Maria seven year later. Andrés tells how his nonprofit organization thrived despite the fumbling incompetence of government agencies and nonprofits—and an American president who "seemed to have no idea what his role was." In a matter of days, Andrés and his volunteers had expanded an operation run by his friend Jose Enrique, a San Juan chef, making sandwiches, paellas, and stew (Andres has contempt for the idea that disaster victims deserve only lousy food). In between fighting with red tape–tangled FEMA officials and dealing with the Red Cross's lack of organization, Andres quickly scaled up an operation with 20,000 volunteers that produced three million meals. "We solved the problems as they popped up," Andres writes, "as chefs do." This is a powerful story of the impact a well-meaning group can have on the world. (Sept.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The founder of World Central Kitchen describes how his culinary network challenged broken government systems while feeding tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans who lost their homes and livelihoods to Hurricane Maria. 200,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The founder of World Central Kitchen describes how his culinary network challenged broken government systems while feeding tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans who lost their homes and livelihoods to Hurricane Maria.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

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.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

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.