Courtesy of World Central Kitchen

He'll also be giving the commencement address to the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

Elisabeth Sherman
March 28, 2018

Last year, José Andrés proved himself to be one of the most generous, determined philanthropists working in any field today, and in 2018 he’s getting the recognition he deserves: He got a standing ovation at the Oscars this past February, and the James Beard Foundation named him the 2018 Humanitarian of the Year. Tufts University will also honor him with an honorary doctorate later this year, and he’ll serve as the commencement speaker for the university's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

Andrés will become an honorary Doctor of Public Service for his humanitarian work: In 2017, Andrés and World Central Kitchen served 3 million meals in Puerto Rico (more than the U.S. government) and prepared meals for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. In fact, Andrés flew to Dallas, and then drove to Houston alone, stopping by Target to pick up supplies for pasta along the way in order to start feeding people immediately, before his team could join him. Even before he gained notoriety for his humanitarian work, he was recognized as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2012.

Andrés does more than provide aid to victims of natural disasters (although that’s more than enough): He also advocates for the rights of immigrants, without whom, he says, restaurants would not be able to operate, and even showed up to support a demonstration against gun violence last weekend, by handing out free food to marchers.

Next up, Andrés is planning to write a memoir about his experiences working in Puerto Rico, called We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time, which is due out in September.

No doubt in the meantime, he’ll continue to verbally spar with the president over his immigration policies on Twitter. The chef has never held back when it comes to his political beliefs, though, and that’s just another reason to respect him.