The film will “follow Andres and his team around the globe as they address the increasing environmental and humanitarian crises that devastate our world the best way they know how: through food.”

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Thanks to 24-hour food channels, “celebrity chefs” are more prevalent than ever before. But some seem to transcend that title—and that includes José Andrés. Certainly, the Spanish-born chef would be noteworthy for his cooking and restaurants alone, but his humanitarian and political efforts have become so significant that they make his former identity as a master of tapas seem like, well, small plates. Helping to prove that point, Andrés’ second act as the founder of the non-profit World Central Kitchen (WCK) is now slated to get the feature-length documentary it deserves—helmed by heralded director Ron Howard, no less.

Howard and producing partner Brian Grazer, along with Imagine Documentaries, are once again teaming up with National Geographic Documentary Films to release a yet-to-be-titled documentary about Andrés and World Central Kitchen. The film is said to have exclusive access to WCK’s initiatives and archives and will also highlight the local chefs the non-profit works with when responding to disasters in communities around the globe.

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Chef José Andrés walks with World Central Kitchen staff while bringing meals to survivors of Hurricane Dorian on September 5, 2019.
| Credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / Contributor/Getty Images

“Serving people a plate of fresh food after a disaster is more than just about calories to fill them up. A hot meal is comfort, dignity, hope—a sign that someone cares and that tomorrow will be better,” Andrés said in the film’s announcement. “From Puerto Rico to the Bahamas to Mozambique, I’ve seen how important quick action and constant adaptation are to reach communities in need with the urgency of now. I’m excited to work with National Geographic, along with Ron and the Imagine team, to tell World Central Kitchen’s story and show how powerful food is in the fight to heal people and the planet.”

Earlier this year, Howard debuted his documentary Rebuilding Paradise, covering California’s Camp Fire disaster—an experience that helped inspire this new film. “When we first started shooting Rebuilding Paradise, I was amazed to see the immediate impact that José and the World Central Kitchen team had on the citizens of Paradise, California, in the aftermath of the crippling fires that destroyed their town,” the director stated. “And now, following him as he helps those most in need during this pandemic, I realized that the work he’s doing around the world is one of the most critical and oftentimes overlooked necessities in disaster relief. I’m honored to share his mission with audiences around the world.”

As Howard alludes to, Andrés and WCK have been tackling the COVID-19 pandemic on multiple fronts including feeding passengers from quarantined cruise ships, running community kitchens, providing meals to frontline healthcare workers, and setting up coronavirus relief programs.

No details on a release date or where the film will be available for viewing, theatrically or otherwise, were mentioned as of this writing.