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Cool Dad Job: Founder, World Central Kitchen

Latest Cool Dad Achievement: Delivering five million meals, and counting, to hungry folks in Newark, Chicago, New York City, and Navajo Nation.

Barack Obama calls him a friend. Guy Fieri describes him as a “philanthropist warlord.” But rather than bask in praise, gratifying though it may be, celebrity chef Jose Andres remains focused on his singular mission: Providing beautiful meals to people who need them most. The father of three has marshalled his “first food responders” to fill the bellies of the millions pushed into food-insecurity by the pandemic. World Central Kitchen gives out more than 100,000 meals per day sourced from local restaurants. It’s an inventive and nimble concept that keeps eateries open while also getting sweet potato, quinoa, bean, veggie, and parmesan grain bowls, or jerk kitchen with rice and peas, to those who need it most. Andres has had food buses serve senior centers and transformed sports arenas into massive outdoor bistros. Still, he finds time to cook blowtorch eggs, and strawberry and tomato salad with daughter Carlota. 

In a way, this all feels inevitable. Andres has a habit of rising to meet the moment. The Spanish-American chef had planned to open a restaurant in Washington’s Trump International Hotel in 2016, but pulled the plug after Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists,” saying immigrants like himself demanded respect. He has ours.