D.C. restaurateur turned disaster relief pointman José Andrés will share his story about rushing to the aid of storm-ravaged Puerto Rico this fall via the new book he’s written.
We Fed An Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time is scheduled to hit shelves on September 11, 2018 under Anthony Bourdain Books/Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. The face of Hurricane Maria relief confirmed earlier this month that a book deal was in the works.
Andrés, who’s got 27 restaurants worldwide (including D.C.’s Michelin-starred Minibar) and was named Humanitarian of the Year on February 21 by the James Beard Foundation, arrived in Puerto Rico four days after Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on the Caribbean last fall. He proceeded to cook 100,000 meals a day (3 million and counting), including ladling traditional Puerto Rican sancocho at more than a dozen kitchens across the island.
“We want to tell the inside story of what we saw on the ground — the good and the bad — of the crisis, the response, and how a plate of food does more than just fill you up. It fills you with hope,” Andrés said in a prepared statement.
The avid Twitter user’s 140-character field reports containing photos of the destruction and criticisms of FEMA will come to life in the book, which is based on meetings, messages, and conversations he had while crisscrossing Puerto Rico.
A portion of proceeds will go towards the Chef Relief Network of Andrés’ nonprofit organization World Central Kitchen to continue to help Puerto Rico.
Bourdain says he hopes documenting Andrés and World Central Kitchen’s ability to feed the masses will serve as “a practical blueprint for how humans can and should best react in the face of disaster.”