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We now know that it wasn't sixteen Puerto Ricans that died as the direct result of Hurricane Maria: it was at least 2,975. That's almost twice as many as died in Louisiana from Katrina. As a leading chef and restaurateur with a charitable foundation focused on feeding families caught in natural disasters, Jose Andres put himself and his other employees and friends on the ground in the immediate aftermath, delivering millions of hot meals and sandwiches to many who had lost power, water, and gasoline. A day by day first person account of those first critical weeks, a how-to for other disaster response groups, an indictment of government and Red Cross response: I think this is the most important book that I have read this year. You cannot read this book without thinking that Puerto Rico needs its own senators and representatives to end the economic apartheid that makes its citizens de facto colonists.
— From Carla's Picks
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.
Matt Goulding is an Emmy- and James Beard Award–winning writer and the New York Times bestselling author of over twenty books. He is also the cofounder of Roads & Kingdoms, the 2017 James Beard Publication of the Year.
José Andrés is a Michelin-starred, James Beard Award–winning chef, and was named among Time’s “100 Most Influential People.” He is the founder and chairman of World Central Kitchen, the NGO behind #ChefsForPuertoRico, and cofounder of ThinkFoodGroup, which has more than thirty restaurants around the world. He is also the author of three cookbooks and the New York Times best-selling We Fed an Island, which describes how Andrés and his team cooked for hundreds of thousands of hungry Americans in Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria.