Chef José Andrés tells us, “This book is dedicated to everyone who understands the power of a hot meal in a time of need.”
This is the first cookbook from the World Central Kitchen, aka the WCK. The organization was the inspiration of José Andrés, professional chef and humanitarian. “Since 2010 the World Central Kitchen has cooked hundreds of millions of fresh, nourishing meals for people impacted by natural disasters and other crises." In this book the WCK shares recipes inspired by many global areas where disasters hit, and stories from chefs, volunteers and the communities that were served. There are recipes from a former First Lady of the United States and one from a Duchess.
Even though there are recipes in this book, Chef José Andrés wants us to know it is more than a cookbook. Where there are natural disasters or those made by people, that is where the WCK team will go and set up tables and cook. “You see there is no one right way to feed people in the aftermath of a disaster. It’s a way of listening and learning, of thinking, and of acting in the world that we are sharing in a million and one ways with this book.” As a professional chef, he never expected there to be a demand for the recipes that were created as part of a disaster relief nonprofit. The recipes are important, but he thinks that “even more important are the stories, histories, and moments of cultural understanding that are behind each recipe and meal we serve." The Ukrainian Easter Bread recipe is an example of a shared heritage going back generations. "This recipe came from our Ukraine country director, Yuliya Stefanyuk, who learned it from her grandmother, who learned it from her grandmother." He is encouraging all of us “to get motivated by this book . . . Whether it means you are cooking a meal for a neighbor in need, volunteering at your local food pantry, joining our Relief Team . . . or simply making dinner for your family and learning about where that dish came from.”
The recipes, stories and actions are organized in chapters based on the values of the WCK: empathy, urgency, adaptation, hope, community, resilience, joy. There are cooking notes; the World Central Kitchen Pantry; numerous cooking tips; a comprehensive index; and full-page color photographs of food and people.
José Andrés is a dynamo, having written several cookbooks; a book about helping to rebuild Puerto Rico; numerous books for children (in Spanish and in English), and all his books, owned by LAPL, can be found here.