Food is a passion of mine. I will eat pretty much anything – from cricket fried rice to a Bloody Mary topped with two Cornish hens, an avocado and fried okra to anything and everything with bacon. I love food! When I travel to industry conferences, I make it a point to hunt out at least one unique restaurant for one of my meals. My latest obsession – José Andrés restaurants. José Andrés is a James Beard awarding winning chef with 29 restaurants. My current favorite restaurant of his is called Bazaar, where you can enjoy an amazing 18 course culinary experience. OMG it’s the absolute best, if you ever get a chance to try it…TRY IT!
So, what does all this amazing food talk have to do with business continuity or disaster recovery? Recently I found out it has a lot to do with disaster recovery. Let me explain… We always look immediately to the big organizations like FEMA and Red Cross to help support relief efforts. But, in reality, they can’t do it all. There is only so much food, supplies and volunteers to go around. That is why there are many other organizations (probably lesser known, but still very effective) that assist in supporting disaster relief. One of those organizations is called World Central Kitchen (WCK), which the chef that I speak so highly of, José Andrés is a major contributor of.
After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Andrés formed WCK, a non-profit non-governmental organization devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters. WCK provides smart solutions to hunger and poverty by using the power of food to empower communities and strengthen economies. Most recently in 2017, WCK, along with #ChefsForPuertoRico, served over 3.6 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria with the help of 20,000 volunteers. Andrés actually went to Puerto Rico days after the hurricane (and might I mention spent weeks there) to personally help WCK’s efforts there. And this is just one example. Last year alone, World Central Kitchen served over 4 million meals to victims of natural disasters. And with all of this generosity, Andrés recently accepted the 2018 Humanitarian of the Year award from the James Beard Foundation.
I had no idea Andrés was involved in all of this until I started recently following him on social media. It was kind of incredible to see my two worlds collide – disaster recovery and food. Mind explosion! I couldn’t wait to write about this as I am truly inspired by his story, which makes me want to support him even more. There are many organizations and people that come together after a disaster, it’s nice to recognize some of the smaller ones that may not get as much credit as the big guys. Kudos to you José Andrés and everyone involved at WCK, you are true inspirations!
If you are interested in donating or want more information on World Central Kitchen, please check out their website.