The course, which was first introduced in 2013, has been updated this year to include discourse on immigration, the undocumented food system, national security, and food-related health issues.
José Andrés George Washington University Course
Credit: Sean Zanni/Getty Images

José Andrés wears many hats. He’s a world-renowned chef, decorated with multiple James Beard Awards and the 2019 Julia Child Award, as well as a humanitarian—his non-profit, World Central Kitchen, helps feed victims of natural disasters by setting up relief kitchens everywhere from Puerto Rico to Louisiana. What you might not know about Andrés, however, is that he can also claim the title of teacher. The chef has had a longstanding relationship with George Washington University in Washington, D.C., serving as a special adviser on food issues to former university president Steven Knapp, opening Beefsteak on the Foggy Bottom campus, and receiving an honorary doctorate of public service in 2014. In 2013, he introduced a food sustainability course. Although the class has gone through a few different names and iterations, GW Today reports the class is back this fall—and it’s been updated to address “current issues in the global food landscape.”

The "World on a Plate" course will be more “project-driven rather than exam-driven,” according to the description. In addition to Andrés, several other university professors and guest speakers will be teaching the classes, covering topics such as food history, immigration, the undocumented food system, food-related health issues, national security, and science. Students can expect off-site visits to DC Central Kitchen and Folger Shakespeare Library, according to GW Today, as well as activities like evaluating their food choices over the course of a week and researching their “individual heritage-related food culture.” The course also includes 20 hours of community service.

Space in the course is limited, and the university recommends registering as soon as possible.

Andrés isn't the first high-profile chef to dabble in academia. The Institute of Culinary Education’s new Natural Gourmet Center in Pasadena, California has a mostly plant-based curriculum that became available this spring—MasterClass also recently added courses from barbecue legend Aaron Franklin and Osteria Francescana chef Massimo Bottura.