Few honors in the world are as enormous as the acclaimed Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Albert Schweitzer, former president Barack Obama, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa of Calcutta have all received the honor. Now, chef and JosÃ© AndrÃ©s, a leader in Puerto Rican disaster relief after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, might join their ranks.
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Rep. John Delaney, a Democratic congressman from Maryland, confirmed that he has nominated the restaurateur and humanitarian for the 2019 award, the Washington Post reported on Monday. Delaney told the Post he couldn't discuss specifics, as the Nobel Committee discourages nominators from doing so. The laureates won't be announced until October 2019.
A representative for AndrÃ©s said the chef had no comment, but a tweet he sent on Tuesday addressed the report.
"My friend I don't know if it is true, but if it is, I'm humbled by it," he wrote in reply to praise from Washington D.C. businessman Ted Leonsis. "I'm one more guy between thousands of people helping feed people in need, every day around the world, unrecognized..."
My friend I don't know if it is true, but if it is, I'm humbled by it. I'm one more guy between thousands of people helping feed people in need, every day around the world, unrecognized... https://t.co/EmkLxU6HxT
- JosÃ© AndrÃ©s (@chefjoseandres) November 27, 2018
Born in Spain in 1969, AndrÃ©s is often credited for helping bring the Spanish concept of tapas, or small plates, to American restaurants. He owns 26 restaurants in the U.S. and Mexico, and has twice been named to Time Magazine's list of most influential people in the world.
After the massive earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, AndrÃ©s founded a nonprofit group called World Central Kitchen to work on feeding those left hungry after national disasters. After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, the chef and his staff provided "millions of hot meals to residents who would have had to survive on MREs and snacks for months," the Post reports. On Thanksgiving, AndrÃ©s and fellow chefs Tyler Florence and Guy Fieri served 15,000 meals to those affected by the recent fires in California. Here are 18 reasons why this big-hearted chef is the hero we need right now.