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José Andrés Honored Immigrants and Women in His Oscars Cameo

The chef delivered a rousing introduction for Best Picture nominee Roma

91st Annual Academy Awards - Show
José Andrés and Actor Diego Luna, left, introduce Best Picture nominee Roma at the Oscars.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Wearing a tuxedo and reading off a teleprompter onstage at the Oscars last night, José Andrés was out of his element. But, in a room full of the world’s top orators, the D.C.-based chef, restaurateur, and Nobel Prize-nominated humanitarian still delivered a moving scene.

While helping actor Diego Luna introduce highlights for Best Picture nominee Roma, a film centered around the experiences of a domestic worker and a wife abandoned by her husband, Andrés gained momentum as he went on and punctuated the short speech with a call to appreciate women and immigrants.

“This beautiful, intimate film, one that gives a voice to the voiceless, reminds us of the understanding and compassion that we all owe to the invisible people in our lives, immigrants and women who move humanity forward,” Andrés said.

Tabbing Andrés for the role was a smart big of casting by the Academy. The chef has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump’s harsh immigration policies. His World Central Kitchen sprang into action to feed the people of Puerto Rico following a devastating hurricane in 2017. More recently, the nonprofit has fed migrant refugees in Tijuana and furloughed federal workers all across the United States during this year’s partial government shutdown.

Roma claimed Oscars for Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Foreign Language Film, but — to the chagrin of many — lost out to Green Book for Best Picture.