Past honorees include Danny Meyer, Jacques Pepin, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, and Rick Bayless.

By Bridget Hallinan
Updated June 11, 2019
José Andrés 2019 Julia Child Award
Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In the past few years, José Andrés has gained a lot of traction in the award circuit. In 2018, the chef, author, and humanitarian earned the James Beard “Humanitarian of the Year Award” for his advocacy on food and hunger issues—especially with his non-profit organization, World Central Kitchen, which activates relief kitchens all over the world to feed people in times of crisis and natural disaster. Later that year, news broke that he had also received a nomination for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, which will be announced this October. And the momentum keeps going—on Tuesday morning, the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and Culinary Arts announced that Andrés will receive the fifth annual Julia Child Award.

“For me to win this award, it is such an honor. Her influence is everywhere,” Andrés said in a statement. “I still think about her show, the one with the chicken. She took her cooking seriously but at the same time knew how to have fun with the food. This is what cooking is all about.”

The award, established by the foundation in 2015, honors an individual or team who has made “a profound and significant different in the way America cooks, eats, and drinks.” Past honorees include Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Danny Meyer, Jacques Pepin, and Rick Bayless. Each winner receives a $50,000 grant—according to a statement, Andrés plans on giving all of the money to World Central Kitchen to fund its humanitarian efforts around the world.

“José's passion and ability to act independent of conventions or the status quo, combined with his commitment to the greater good, has made him not only an innovative and supremely influential teacher, but also someone Julia would have both admired and applauded,” Eric W. Spivey, chairman of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, said in a statement.

Jacques Pepin, the inaugural Julia Child Award winner, will present the award to Andrés at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. on November 7; Andrew Zimmern will be the emcee, and Andrés himself will work with his team to create the menu for the night. The ceremony runs in conjunction with the museum’s gala and also kicks off its fifth annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend (November 7 through November 9). In addition to Zimmern and Pepin, author and TV host Samin Nosrat will speak, as will chef and restaurateur Ann Cashion. Rick Bayless, Danny Meyer, Mary Sue Milliken, and Susan Feniger will also be in attendance to commemorate the award’s five year anniversary.

In other José Andrés news, the chef's latest cookbook, Vegetables Unleashed: A Cookbook, debuted on May 21, and as you can guess, it celebrates all things vegetables. Recipes include a spin on poke bowls with beets replacing fish, variations on Spanish gazpacho, and a whole passage dedicated to sangria. Learn more and find out where you can order it in our story.