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José Andrés Saves Life of Choking Man

José Andrés Saves Life of Choking Man


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Celebrity chef José Andrés saved a man from choking

Celebrity chef José Andrés saved a man from choking on a bratwurst at a basketball game.

Celebrity chef José Andrés is a good person to have around, and not just for his cooking. Last week he was hailed as a hero after he saved the life of a man choking on a bratwurst at a basketball game.

According to The Local, two men bought VIP tickets to a Wizards game at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., last week, and their tickets came with access to an all-you-can-eat buffet. One of the men, who says he was completely sober at the time, was reportedly “knocking back a bratwurst” in the VIP buffet when he started choking. A man quickly came up behind him and performed the Heimlich maneuver.

"He turned me around real fast, gave me one push/thrust of the Heimlich maneuver, and [the sausage] came up," the choking man said. Only a few moments later, after calming down a bit, the man realized his rescuer had been the well-known celebrity chef.


Waiter at Indian restaurant saves customer with Heimlich manoeuvre

A waiter at an Indian restaurant was applauded by customers after saving a young man’s life with the Heimlich manoeuvre.

Sheakh Rifat, 24, a student in the UK from Bangladesh, was working at Bangor Tandoori in Wales on Sunday evening when he spotted a customer having trouble breathing.

He brought the man out from his table and successfully performed the Heimlich manoeuvre, leaving the patron “very grateful”.

He told the PA news agency: “I was looking around the restaurant – are the customers OK or not? Do they need anything else?

“I was going back to the till… I noticed something really very wrong with Jake (the customer). His face went red and tears were coming from his eyes.

“He was struggling to breathe.

“It took me like two or three seconds to realise what it could be. I pulled him out and brought him into the corridor, grabbed him from the back on the stomach very tightly, and I shook him.

“After a few attempts a piece of chicken came out and he started breathing again.”

Mr Rifat said he received a round of applause from the restaurant, and described the customer’s recovery as “a big relief”.

He also that his father had saved him from choking when he was a child.

“He’s a nice guy, he was really very grateful,” said Mr Rifat of the customer.

“He hugged me and we had a chat when they were leaving. He took a picture with me and he offered me a good tip!

“In the beginning I refused the tip because I’m Muslim, and in our religion if you are helping someone you have to do it selflessly.

“Honestly it’s a great feeling. I never dreamed in my life that I’m going to be in the news.

“What gave me more satisfaction and more happiness is that Jake is safe.”


'Without Empathy, Nothing Works.' Chef José Andrés Wants to Feed the World Through the Pandemic

In the meantime, Andrés is a lesson of leadership in crisis. In a catastrophe in which the response of the U.S. government has been slow, muddled and unsure, his kitchen models the behavior&mdashnimble, confident, proactive&mdashthe general public needs in a crisis (and, so far, has provided it more reliably than the federal government). Consider the Grand Princess. President Donald Trump made crystal clear he would have preferred that people remain on the vessel so the infected passengers would not increase the tally of cases he appeared to see as a personal scoreboard (&ldquoI like the numbers being where they are&rdquo). Then, a few breaths later, the President said he was deferring to experts, which made life easier for the quarantined passengers and crew who disembarked, a few hundred at a time, over a week, but harder for Americans looking for the clear, unambiguous instruction that&rsquos so essential to public health. &ldquoWe have a President more worried about Wall Street going down,&rdquo says Andrés, &ldquothan about the virus itself.&rdquo

At the port of Oakland, where the Grand Princess finally docked, Andrés&rsquo team made its own statement. Setting up a tent at the side of the ship, it forklifted fresh meals not only for the quarantined passengers but also for the crew. &ldquoWhen we hear about a tragedy, we all kind of get stuck on &lsquoWhat&rsquos the best to way to help?&rsquo&rdquo playwright and producer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who first connected with Andrés in 2017 during the Hurricane Maria relief efforts, tells TIME. &ldquoHe just hurries his ass over and gets down there.&rdquo

Andrés, at the age of 50, is charismatic, impulsive, fun, blunt and driven, an idealist who feeds thousands and a competitor who will knock you out of the lane on the basketball court. He is also among America&rsquos best-known cooks. His ThinkFoodGroup of more than 30 restaurants includes locations in Washington, D.C. Florida California New York and five other states and the Bahamas. They run the gamut from avant-garde fare to a food court that the New York Times restaurant critic called the best new establishment in New York in 2019. But in recent years, Andrés, an immigrant from Spain, has attracted more attention with his humanitarian work. World Central Kitchen prepared nearly 4 million meals for residents of Puerto Rico in the wake of the devastation wrought by Maria (he titled his best-selling book about it We Fed an Island). The organization has launched feeding missions in 13 countries, serving some 15 million meals and corralling more than 45,000 volunteers. Andrés was nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.

Upon landing in the Bay Area, he hopped on the phone with Nate Mook, World Central Kitchen&rsquos executive director, to discuss a potential partnership with Panera Bread to give away meals. He put on a mask and visited the kitchen his organization had set up at the University of San Francisco, where several dozen workers prepared jambalaya and salads for quarantined passengers. He thanked his workers&mdashmany of whom are veterans of past feeding efforts&mdashbut noted the risks of overcrowding a relief kitchen in the era of COVID-19. &ldquoLess people is better,&rdquo he told a World Central Kitchen staffer. &ldquoIf not, we&rsquore going to fall like flies.&rdquo

Next stop: the cruise ship, to distribute meals. On the ride over the Bay Bridge to Oakland, Andrés was already managing past the task at hand, as he spoke to Mook about financing a mass feeding program. &ldquoThis is going to be something remembered in the history books,&rdquo he says. &ldquoThis is going to be beyond Sept. 11, beyond Katrina. Think big. Because every time we think big, we deliver. And the money always shows up.&rdquo Later that evening, Andrés and his staff huddled with leaders of an Oakland-based company, Revolution Foods, who have contracts to cook and deliver school lunches: they&rsquove continued operating during the COVID-19 emergency. Andrés urged the company&rsquos CEO and head chef to isolate cooks so they steer clear of infection. He coached them on forging partnerships-: with restaurants ordered shuttered, Andrés noted, many cooks will soon be out of work and itching to help.

&ldquoMy friends,&rdquo Andrés told his staff, &ldquomaybe this is why World Central Kitchen was created.&rdquo

It was during Hurricane Maria that Andrés learned to cut through government bureaucracy to fill a leadership vacuum and feed the masses. From a niche nonprofit supporting sustainable-food and clean-cooking initiatives in underdeveloped countries like Haiti, World Central Kitchen has become the world&rsquos most prominent first responder for food. In some ways, the face of global disaster relief is a burly man fond of shouting &ldquoBoom!&rdquo when he hears something he likes, and leaning his body into yours when he wants to make a point. Andrés and his field workers flock to disaster sites across the world, often acting as some of the first on-the-ground social-media reporters. They&rsquove deployed to wildfires in California, an earthquake in Albania, a volcanic eruption in Guatemala.

When Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas last September, World Central Kitchen commandeered helicopters and seaplanes to take meals to the Abaco Islands, which lay in rubble. &ldquoIn the end, we brought hope as fast as anybody has ever done it,&rdquo says Andrés. &ldquoNo one told me I&rsquom in charge of feeding the Bahamas. I said I&rsquom in charge of feeding the Bahamas.&rdquo This year, World Central Kitchen workers went to Australia to help residents affected by the bushfires, and to Tennessee after tornadoes in the Nashville area killed at least 25 people.

It was not caught flat-footed by the coronavirus. In February, World Central Kitchen forklifted food onto another infected Princess cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, docked off Yokohama, Japan. Field-operations chief Sam Bloch had flown from the bushfire mission in Australia to Los Angeles and rerouted himself back across the Pacific. On March 15, as states ordered public spaces closed, Andrés announced the conversion of five of his D.C.-area restaurants, and his outlet in New York City, into community kitchens. As of March 25, World Central Kitchen has worked with partners to coordinate delivery, via 160 distribution points, of more than 150,000 safe, packaged fresh meals for families in New York City Washington, D.C. Little Rock, Ark. Oakland New Orleans Los Angeles Miami Boston and Madrid. Across the country, the organization&rsquos &ldquoChefs for America&rdquo online map pinpoints 346 restaurants and 567 school districts providing meals. On March 23 and 24, Andrés drove around D.C. to give out more than 13,000 N95 respirator masks, left over from prior World Central Kitchen cruise feeding operations, to health care workers fighting COVID-19 on the front lines.

&ldquoWe need to make sure we are building walls that are shorter and tables that are longer,&rdquo Andrés likes to say, making explicit his difference with Trump. He pulled out of a restaurant deal at Trump&rsquos D.C. hotel after the candidate announced his campaign by referring to Mexicans as &ldquorapists.&rdquo (The Trump Organization sued ThinkFoodGroup countersued the case was settled.) During the government shutdown in early 2019, World Central Kitchen and partners cooked 300,000 meals for furloughed federal workers living paycheck to paycheck. On a plane to Las Vegas recently, Andrés told me, a Trump supporter said to him that although he knew the chef didn&rsquot like &ldquomy boy,&rdquo he still considered Andrés a good guy.

&ldquoWhat we&rsquove been able to do,&rdquo says Andrés, &ldquois weaponize empathy. Without empathy, nothing works.&rdquo

Andrés was raised in the north of Spain, the son of nurses. Cooking was always alluring. &ldquoThe touching, the transformation of things, the smells of it, the tastes of it, it brought people together,&rdquo Andrés says. &ldquoI love clay. I love fire. Maybe I&rsquom a distant relative of Prometheus.&rdquo He is fond of telling one story: when he was a boy, he always wanted to stir the paella pan, but his father wouldn&rsquot let him cook. He first had to learn to control the fire.

After culinary school in Barcelona and a stint in the Spanish navy cooking for an admiral, Andrés arrived in New York City in 1991 as a 21-year-old chef with $50 in his pocket. He moved to D.C. a few years later to help start a Spanish-themed restaurant, Jaleo, and helped popularize tapas in the U.S. Success gave him the freedom to open more restaurants and experiment with new fare. In 2016, minibar, in D.C., which offers a tasting menu of a few dozen small courses, earned the coveted two-star Michelin rating. &ldquoHe&rsquos probably the most creative chef in the world today,&rdquo says French chef Eric Ripert, whose own flagship New York restaurant, Le Bernardin, regularly ranks among the best on the planet. Ripert points to a waffle stuffed with foie gras mousse, served at barmini&mdashminibar&rsquos companion cocktail and snack lounge&mdashas an Andrés creation that blew him away. &ldquoWaffles are not supposed to be savory,&rdquo he says. &ldquoYour chances of success with that are almost none. You see it coming and you&rsquore like, &lsquoWhat is that?&rsquo It&rsquos full of surprise.&rdquo

In an interview a few years back, Andrés, who became a U.S. citizen in 2013, said he speaks to his ingredients. But when I ask if he actually talks to his garlic, he says don&rsquot take him literally. &ldquoIf you are a cook and you don&rsquot understand the history and physics behind water, of tomatoes, it&rsquos very difficult for you to do anything. Come on, talking to ingredients is just, Are you aware of what you have in your hands? Are you deep in thought?&rdquo

While Andrés&rsquo restaurants caught on in the 1990s and his profile continued to rise&mdasha PBS show, Made in Spain, for example, debuted in 2008&mdashhe homed in on philanthropy. He lent time and resources to D.C. Central Kitchen, a local charity that not only feeds the capital&rsquos homeless and residents in need but also trains them to find cooking jobs. It was in 2010&mdashafter he visited Haiti following the earthquake that year&mdashthat he founded World Central Kitchen. &ldquoMy whole history with him has been listening to him and saying, &lsquoYou&rsquore crazy,&rsquo&rdquo says D.C. Central Kitchen founder Robert Egger. &ldquoThen he does it. At this point if he comes to me and has an idea for an intergalactic kitchen, I&rsquom like, &lsquoF-cking A, that&rsquos good. I&rsquom on board.&rsquo&rdquo

The organization pitched in on Hurricane Sandy relief in 2012, and in August 2017, Andrés traveled to Houston to help mobilize chefs after Hurricane Harvey. The work all led up to Hurricane Maria, which made landfall that September. &ldquoPuerto Rico was that moment where it&rsquos like, O.K., it&rsquos time to put into practice all that we&rsquove been soaking up over the years,&rdquo says Mook, World Central Kitchen&rsquos executive director. &ldquoWe saw the sheer paralysis of the government&rsquos response. We realized we were on the brink of a humanitarian crisis. We said, Let&rsquos start somewhere. Let&rsquos start cooking.&rdquo (Andrés appeared on TIME&rsquos list of the 100 most influential people in the world in both 2012 and 2018.)

World Central Kitchen has figured out that rather than relying on packaged food airlifted in from the outside&mdash&ldquomeals ready to eat&rdquo (MREs) in relief parlance&mdashAndrés and his team can tap into existing supply chains and local chefs to prepare hot meals. As its profile has expanded, its revenues have ballooned from around $650,000 in 2016 to $28.5 million in 2019, and the organization now has the wherewithal to hire local help&mdashas well as send out its own operations experts&mdashto kick-start the food economy. Some two-thirds of World Central Kitchen&rsquos 2019 revenues, or $19.1 million, came from individual donations, ranging from large gifts from philanthropists (including from Marc and Lynne Benioff, TIME&rsquos owners and co-chairs) to kids giving $6 out of their allowance. Former President Bill Clinton, whose Clinton Global Initiative has supported World Central Kitchen, says Andrés&rsquo empathic action is more crucial than ever in these divided times. &ldquoIf you spend more time on your fears than your hopes, on your resentments than your compassions, and you divide people up, in an interdependent world, bad things are going to happen,&rdquo Clinton, who first spent significant time with Andrés in Haiti after the earthquake, tells TIME. &ldquoIf that&rsquos all you do, you&rsquore not helping the people who have been victimized or left behind or overlooked. He&rsquos a walking model of what the 21st century citizen should be.&rdquo

About two months before his trip to Oakland, Andrés stomped into another airport, in San Juan, the first person off his flight from Washington, D.C. &ldquoGo do your thing, chef,&rdquo a man sitting at another gate told him as he made his way through the terminal. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake had brought Andrés back. A car was waiting to take him to the south, where the tremors damaged homes and left hungry people sleeping under tents. As his ride rushed through a lush green Puerto Rican mountainside, Andrés offered a master class in multitasking, one moment conducting ThinkFoodGroup business over the phone&mdash&ldquoI never saw the deal. I need to see the deal before I sign sh-t,&rdquo he barked at one executive&mdashwhile in another prepping his World Central Kitchen field workers for his arrival. &ldquoI&rsquove got good news and bad news,&rdquo he told one of them. &ldquoThe bad news is, I&rsquom coming …&rdquo

Working for the blunt Andrés is not for the faint of heart. On the other hand, the chaos of a restaurant kitchen translates into a disaster area. He often rubs his eyes and tugs at his beard, before expressing frustration. &ldquoI would like to say you put too much food on a tray,&rdquo he tells a few of his workers in Puerto Rico. &ldquoBut that never f-cking happens.&rdquo

During his 36 hours in Puerto Rico, Andrés pinballed to some half dozen World Central Kitchen sites to assist with the feeding efforts, at baseball fields, a track-and-field facility and a smaller indoor kitchen in the city of Ponce, where workers prepared ham-and-cheese sandwiches with globs of mayo. (&ldquoMakes them easy for the elderly to chew,&rdquo Andrés says.) In Peñuelas, the chef shared a quiet conversation with an overwhelmed food-truck operator World Central Kitchen had hired, urging her to change the menu for dinner before patting her on the back and departing for his next stop. In Guayanilla, Andrés went bed to bed handing out solar lights to frightened residents sleeping outside in the dark. In Yauco, he stirred meat sauce in one of World Central Kitchen&rsquos signature giant paella pans. Within days of the earthquake, Andrés&rsquo operation was serving 12,000 meals a day in Puerto Rico.

On the early-morning flight to Fort Lauderdale, Andrés earned the title of loudest snorer on board. He had been up late the previous night, enjoying a few pops of his go-to drink, the rum sour, at the San Juan restaurant whose namesake chef, Jose Enrique, first opened his kitchen doors to Andrés after Maria. And he had woken up that morning for a radio interview before the flight. In Florida, he would catch a private charter to Hurricane Dorian&ndashdamaged Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas, where hollowed-out cars still lie by the side of the road and only a stove remains where a kitchen once stood in most people&rsquos homes. Although the hurricane had struck more than three months earlier, World Central Kitchen still had a strong presence: Andrés takes pride that his team doesn&rsquot just parachute in. They stick around.

Andrés went door to door, distributing some two dozen hot meals, continuing his deliveries well past dark. Afterward, he was genuinely hurt that a few of his relief workers were too wiped out to join him for dinner and a few drinks. He napped again on the ride back to the hotel&mdashhis head bobbed with such force, it seemed in danger of collapsing to the ground. But once at the hotel he wanted to stay up a little longer, sip Irish whiskey on the beach and stare at the stars.

Perhaps Andrés crashes so hard because he lives in perpetual motion, often acting on impulse. His &ldquoplans&rdquo deserve quotation marks. He&rsquoll shout, &ldquoLet&rsquos go,&rdquo in his booming voice&mdashthen stick around for another hour, taking pictures, lugging a crate of apples to help feed people, talking to anyone within earshot. After leaving the cruise ship in Oakland, Andrés and his team were scheduled to hunker down in a San Francisco hotel room to figure out their strategy for feeding America in the wake of COVID-19. A staffer worked the phones to reserve a conference room. First, however, a spontaneous lunch interrupted: Andrés took five workers to a favorite Chinese restaurant, which was nearly empty because of coronavirus fears, for piles of dim sum. Then Andrés declared he wanted to move the meeting to a park. Then, instead of squatting in grass, Andrés decided that everyone, including himself, needed to find a barber to shave their beards and shorten their hair after a social-media user pointed out that facial hair can reduce the effectiveness of the N95 masks World Central Kitchen workers had been wearing. Andrés, who had been up until at least 2 a.m. on the East Coast before catching his early-morning transcontinental flight, passed out in the barber&rsquos chair, shaving cream smeared across his neck.

What looks like a scatterbrained approach can work in managing a crisis: while visiting the Bahamas, Andrés was in constant contact with his team in Puerto Rico, where another 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit after he left. But human relations are something else. If he&rsquos idling on Twitter when you ask for his attention, it can be grating. &ldquoHe&rsquos the salt to my life because he really brings the color and the flavor,&rdquo says Andrés&rsquo wife Patricia, who also hails from Spain she met him in D.C. in the 1990s. &ldquoBut sometimes I want to kill him, O.K.? Don&rsquot misunderstand me. Or throw him out the window.&rdquo

Andrés is sometimes so in his head and on mission, he&rsquos oblivious to his surroundings. He&rsquoll open a car door before the vehicle comes to a complete stop. He has a habit of walking in circles, staring straight ahead, while on important cell-phone calls: in Marsh Harbour, a car pulling into a takeout shop nearly hit him. In Ponce, while showing someone the proper angle at which he wanted to take a picture of lettuce growing in a greenhouse, he leaned against a rail and nearly took out a portion of the crop.

But a tendency to distraction belies his intense focus on whatever he&rsquos trying to accomplish. Andrés plays to win. The day before the NBA&rsquos All-Star Celebrity Game in February, I joined him for a training session at the National Basketball Players Association gym in New York City. His friend José Calderón, a former NBA player from Spain, works as a special assistant to the union&rsquos executive director. During a game of 3-on-3, Andrés fouled me with his shoulders, barely attempting to move his feet. He employed similar tactics, it turns out, while playing with his daughters in the driveway of their Bethesda, Md., home. &ldquoWe were 10, 12 years old, and he didn&rsquot care,&rdquo says his eldest daughter Carlota, 21. &ldquoWe were on the floor.&rdquo He wasn&rsquot much nicer to the officials at their youth hoops contests. &ldquoHe would get kicked out of my games multiple times,&rdquo Carlota says. &ldquoI think it started when I was in second grade.&rdquo

He brings both temper and tenderness. &ldquoI am getting very anxious,&rdquo he said in a raised voice at one of his relief workers over the phone in Puerto Rico. &ldquoCan we for once f-cking show up at the same time and the same place … Are we in control, or are we not in control?&rdquo But he&rsquoll later tell his crew how proud he is of them, or how much he loves them. When he got wind that classmates were telling the 9-year-old daughter of one of his workers that she might get coronavirus because her father was working near the cruise ship, Andrés grabbed his colleague&rsquos phone and recorded a video message for her and two younger siblings. &ldquoYour daddy is a hero, period,&rdquo Andrés said, choking up slightly. &ldquoSo don&rsquot worry, your daddy is going to be home soon and he is going to be taking care of all of you. And I only want you to be super proud of your dad.&rdquo

In the Bahamas, a woman yelled out to Andrés from her car and simply put her hands together, as if she were in church it was her way of telling him he&rsquos a blessing. On his way to his office in D.C. in February, a woman from Japan stopped to thank him for feeding the cruise-ship passengers docked in Yokohama. And as he walked through downtown San Francisco, puffing on a cigar, a woman approached him gingerly to tell him that she&rsquos donated to World Central Kitchen and that it was an honor to meet him. She then tiptoed away, as if she&rsquod just disturbed rare air.

His decision to head to San Francisco&mdashwhere one of his workers wore a hazmat suit as he drove the forklift of food to the cruise ship&mdashdidn&rsquot make much sense to me. The World Central Kitchen team was handling the feeding just fine. The mission was winding down. D.C. was going to serve as the Chefs for America command center to address hunger caused by COVID-19 disruptions. So why would the man who says he &ldquowants to take the lead in feeding America&rdquo after the outbreak risk getting sick, or grounded, 2,500 miles away from home base?

This line of inquiry annoys him. &ldquoSh-t, I want to be with the guys to see it and give thanks,&rdquo says Andrés on the flight west. &ldquoWhat a question to ask. Like, why the f-ck do you get married?&rdquo At the University of San Francisco kitchen, a chef who has worked on prior World Central Kitchen missions lights up when she spots Andrés. They exchange a hug. Andrés turns my way. &ldquoYou ask me why I come,&rdquo he says. &ldquoWhat the f-ck? What&rsquos wrong with you?&rdquo

Andrés has something in common with his buddy Clinton: he craves connecting with people. His public face&mdashyukking it up on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, pumping up World Central Kitchen on social media, giving booming speeches to audiences that hang on every word&mdashhas earned him a reputation as a tireless advocate for humanity. But he doesn&rsquot always feel so fresh himself. On the flight from Florida to the Bahamas in January, Andrés finally set aside his phone, reclined and admitted that the expectations of feeding the world, and running some 30 restaurants, weigh on him. Over the past few years, both his parents have died. His good friend Anthony Bourdain committed suicide. Two of his daughters left for college. &ldquoYou wake up in the morning, and you&rsquore like, oooof,&rdquo says Andrés. Sometimes he feels like staying in bed. &ldquoAll of this is happening in front of you and you feel like you&rsquore losing control.&rdquo

He also has to fight getting in too deep. &ldquoMy biggest worry is that the dream of feeding the world takes a toll on me that it becomes almost sickening,&rdquo Andrés says. &ldquoYou become totally obsessed with it. You&rsquore enjoying dinner somewhere, and you&rsquore checking your phone. Has there been an earthquake? What&rsquos happening in Syria? What the f-ck happened there, how are we not there? I have a company to run. I have a family. I cannot disappear from the life of other people that need me too.&rdquo

Patricia remembers her husband waking up one morning anxious around three years ago, before Hurricane Maria, when he was already a famed, award-winning chef. &ldquoHe&rsquos like, What am I going to do with my life?&rdquo she says. &ldquoAm I doing enough? I&rsquom not doing anything.&rdquo He still expresses such sentiments. &ldquoHe doesn&rsquot look at what he has done,&rdquo she says. &ldquoHe is looking at what he still has to do.&rdquo

Those closest to him worry that all the work is wearing him down. &ldquoI wish he could lose some weight and get fit,&rdquo says Patricia. That Nobel Peace Prize nomination and the global adoration are nice and all: just imagine, she jokingly tells him, what he could do if he were in better shape.

&ldquoThe only thing I worry is, I don&rsquot think he spends enough time taking care of José,&rdquo says Clinton. &ldquoHe works a lot. I don&rsquot want him to burn out. I don&rsquot want him to drop dead someday because he has a heart attack, because he never took the time to exercise, and relax and do what he needs to do. He&rsquos a treasure. He&rsquos a national treasure for us, and a world treasure now. He&rsquos really one of the most special people I&rsquove ever known.&rdquo

Andrés shoos away all calls to slim down: he insists he runs 325 days a year. He allows, however, that the suffering he&rsquos seen up close at disaster scenes&mdashdead bodies, elderly people sleeping in soiled beds, starving people eating roots and drinking filthy water&mdashstrains his mind. To cope, he sometimes turns to what he calls a &ldquostrange thought&rdquo for solace. The thought is that as more climate disasters inevitably hit both the developed and under-developed worlds, poor people in places like the Bahamas and Puerto Rico may at least be better equipped to cope. &ldquoThis gives me a little bit of strange happiness only in the sense saying, You know one thing? Maybe life is preparing them for a worse moment,&rdquo says Andrés. &ldquoAnd actually the fittest will survive and it&rsquos not me, it&rsquos not us, it&rsquos them.&rdquo

Meanwhile, Andrés vows that World Central Kitchen will continue to grow. Splitting time between the nonprofit and his restaurants hadn&rsquot hurt business before the COVID-19 shutdown. On the contrary, revenues had doubled in the past two years, thanks in large part to the opening of Mercado Little Spain, the food market in Manhattan&rsquos Hudson Yards complex, though the goodwill Andrés has earned through World Central Kitchen and his rising profile have also helped. Andrés believes World Central Kitchen, at 10 years old, is still in its infancy. He and his team are learning as they go, and he&rsquos confident that with COVID-19 threatening Americans&rsquo familiar way of living, World Central Kitchen will pass its biggest test yet.


Video shows off-duty trooper saving choking man’s life

ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Even though he was off-duty, a state trooper went above the call of duty and saved a man’s life, according to WPIX.

New Jersey State Police trooper Dennis Palaia was enjoying Sunday afternoon with his son at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Rockaway Township, N.J. when he noticed that the man at a neighboring table, Todd Hendricks, was choking on a grilled chicken tender.

Palaia rushed over to perform the Heimlich maneuver and cleared Hendricks’ airway. The terrifying experience and its heroic ending were captured on surveillance video.

“I really thought he was going to go down and I was nervous,” Palaia said at a press conference. “Thinking about it afterward you start running through ‘What if you didn’t get it out? What then?”

New Jersey State Police posted the video on their Facebook page and said that, “with the exception of a sore throat and aching ribs, we are pleased to report that the man made a full recovery.”

On Thursday, Hendricks met Palaia and his family for the first time since the incident. The two men hugged and talked about the scary moment.

Buffalo Wild Wings has offered Palaia a year free of wings, but he declined the offer because he is a public servant.


'Without Empathy, Nothing Works.' Chef José Andrés Wants to Feed the World Through the Pandemic

Not many people were getting on airplanes in the U.S. on March 12, and even fewer were heading for the Grand Princess cruise ship. COVID-19 was discovered among the ship&rsquos 2,400 passengers after it set sail from Hawaii, making the vessel about as popular as the Flying Dutchman the Grand Princess had to loiter off the California coast for days before being given permission to berth.

But here was José Andrés, marching down an air bridge in Newark, N.J., for a 6:30 a.m. flight to San Francisco. His beige, many-pocketed vest and matching cap put out a vaguely fisherman vibe, but anyone who placed Andrés&mdashhe&rsquos a celebrity chef&mdashmight also recognize the gear he changes into when he&rsquos racing to the scene of disaster. The flight was long, and there was plenty of time to contemplate the dimensions of the catastrophe already silently spreading across the country below.

&ldquoI feel like if something major happens, the America we see from this window …&rdquo he says, trailing off as he looks out over the Rocky Mountains. He had mentioned the shortages of surgical masks and corona-virus tests, and now let the next thought remain unspoken. &ldquoThis is like a movie, man. Maybe we&rsquore overreacting. But it&rsquos O.K. to overreact in this case.&rdquo

Andrés&rsquo rapidly expanding charity, World Central Kitchen, is as prepared as anyone for this moment of unprecedented global crisis. The nonprofit stands up field kitchens to feed thousands of people fresh, nourishing, often hot meals as soon as possible at the scene of a hurricane, earthquake, tornado or flood. As a global public-health emergency, COVID-19 hasn&rsquot been limited to any one place. But it pulverizes the economy as it rolls across the world, and people need money to eat. World Central Kitchen already is distributing meals in low-income neighborhoods in big cities like New York, and monitoring the globe for food shortages elsewhere, some sure to be acute.

In the meantime, Andrés is a lesson of leadership in crisis. In a catastrophe in which the response of the U.S. government has been slow, muddled and unsure, his kitchen models the behavior&mdashnimble, confident, proactive&mdashthe general public needs in a crisis (and, so far, has provided it more reliably than the federal government). Consider the Grand Princess. President Donald Trump made crystal clear he would have preferred that people remain on the vessel so the infected passengers would not increase the tally of cases he appeared to see as a personal scoreboard (&ldquoI like the numbers being where they are&rdquo). Then, a few breaths later, the President said he was deferring to experts, which made life easier for the quarantined passengers and crew who disembarked, a few hundred at a time, over a week, but harder for Americans looking for the clear, unambiguous instruction that&rsquos so essential to public health. &ldquoWe have a President more worried about Wall Street going down,&rdquo says Andrés, &ldquothan about the virus itself.&rdquo

At the port of Oakland, where the Grand Princess finally docked, Andrés&rsquo team made its own statement. Setting up a tent at the side of the ship, it forklifted fresh meals not only for the quarantined passengers but also for the crew. &ldquoWhen we hear about a tragedy, we all kind of get stuck on &lsquoWhat&rsquos the best to way to help?&rsquo&rdquo playwright and producer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who first connected with Andrés in 2017 during the Hurricane Maria relief efforts, tells TIME. &ldquoHe just hurries his ass over and gets down there.&rdquo

Andrés, at the age of 50, is charismatic, impulsive, fun, blunt and driven, an idealist who feeds thousands and a competitor who will knock you out of the lane on the basketball court. He is also among America&rsquos best-known cooks. His ThinkFoodGroup of more than 30 restaurants includes locations in Washington, D.C. Florida California New York and five other states and the Bahamas. They run the gamut from avant-garde fare to a food court that the New York Times restaurant critic called the best new establishment in New York in 2019. But in recent years, Andrés, an immigrant from Spain, has attracted more attention with his humanitarian work. World Central Kitchen prepared nearly 4 million meals for residents of Puerto Rico in the wake of the devastation wrought by Maria (he titled his best-selling book about it We Fed an Island). The organization has launched feeding missions in 13 countries, serving some 15 million meals and corralling more than 45,000 volunteers. Andrés was nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.

Upon landing in the Bay Area, he hopped on the phone with Nate Mook, World Central Kitchen&rsquos executive director, to discuss a potential partnership with Panera Bread to give away meals. He put on a mask and visited the kitchen his organization had set up at the University of San Francisco, where several dozen workers prepared jambalaya and salads for quarantined passengers. He thanked his workers&mdashmany of whom are veterans of past feeding efforts&mdashbut noted the risks of overcrowding a relief kitchen in the era of COVID-19. &ldquoLess people is better,&rdquo he told a World Central Kitchen staffer. &ldquoIf not, we&rsquore going to fall like flies.&rdquo

Next stop: the cruise ship, to distribute meals. On the ride over the Bay Bridge to Oakland, Andrés was already managing past the task at hand, as he spoke to Mook about financing a mass feeding program. &ldquoThis is going to be something remembered in the history books,&rdquo he says. &ldquoThis is going to be beyond Sept. 11, beyond Katrina. Think big. Because every time we think big, we deliver. And the money always shows up.&rdquo Later that evening, Andrés and his staff huddled with leaders of an Oakland-based company, Revolution Foods, who have contracts to cook and deliver school lunches: they&rsquove continued operating during the COVID-19 emergency. Andrés urged the company&rsquos CEO and head chef to isolate cooks so they steer clear of infection. He coached them on forging partnerships-: with restaurants ordered shuttered, Andrés noted, many cooks will soon be out of work and itching to help.

&ldquoMy friends,&rdquo Andrés told his staff, &ldquomaybe this is why World Central Kitchen was created.&rdquo

It was during Hurricane Maria that Andrés learned to cut through government bureaucracy to fill a leadership vacuum and feed the masses. From a niche nonprofit supporting sustainable-food and clean-cooking initiatives in underdeveloped countries like Haiti, World Central Kitchen has become the world&rsquos most prominent first responder for food. In some ways, the face of global disaster relief is a burly man fond of shouting &ldquoBoom!&rdquo when he hears something he likes, and leaning his body into yours when he wants to make a point. Andrés and his field workers flock to disaster sites across the world, often acting as some of the first on-the-ground social-media reporters. They&rsquove deployed to wildfires in California, an earthquake in Albania, a volcanic eruption in Guatemala.

When Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas last September, World Central Kitchen commandeered helicopters and seaplanes to take meals to the Abaco Islands, which lay in rubble. &ldquoIn the end, we brought hope as fast as anybody has ever done it,&rdquo says Andrés. &ldquoNo one told me I&rsquom in charge of feeding the Bahamas. I said I&rsquom in charge of feeding the Bahamas.&rdquo This year, World Central Kitchen workers went to Australia to help residents affected by the bushfires, and to Tennessee after tornadoes in the Nashville area killed at least 25 people.

It was not caught flat-footed by the coronavirus. In February, World Central Kitchen forklifted food onto another infected Princess cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, docked off Yokohama, Japan. Field-operations chief Sam Bloch had flown from the bushfire mission in Australia to Los Angeles and rerouted himself back across the Pacific. On March 15, as states ordered public spaces closed, Andrés announced the conversion of five of his D.C.-area restaurants, and his outlet in New York City, into community kitchens. As of March 25, World Central Kitchen has worked with partners to coordinate delivery, via 160 distribution points, of more than 150,000 safe, packaged fresh meals for families in New York City Washington, D.C. Little Rock, Ark. Oakland New Orleans Los Angeles Miami Boston and Madrid. Across the country, the organization&rsquos &ldquoChefs for America&rdquo online map pinpoints 346 restaurants and 567 school districts providing meals. On March 23 and 24, Andrés drove around D.C. to give out more than 13,000 N95 respirator masks, left over from prior World Central Kitchen cruise feeding operations, to health care workers fighting COVID-19 on the front lines.

&ldquoWe need to make sure we are building walls that are shorter and tables that are longer,&rdquo Andrés likes to say, making explicit his difference with Trump. He pulled out of a restaurant deal at Trump&rsquos D.C. hotel after the candidate announced his campaign by referring to Mexicans as &ldquorapists.&rdquo (The Trump Organization sued ThinkFoodGroup countersued the case was settled.) During the government shutdown in early 2019, World Central Kitchen and partners cooked 300,000 meals for furloughed federal workers living paycheck to paycheck. On a plane to Las Vegas recently, Andrés told me, a Trump supporter said to him that although he knew the chef didn&rsquot like &ldquomy boy,&rdquo he still considered Andrés a good guy.

&ldquoWhat we&rsquove been able to do,&rdquo says Andrés, &ldquois weaponize empathy. Without empathy, nothing works.&rdquo

Andrés was raised in the north of Spain, the son of nurses. Cooking was always alluring. &ldquoThe touching, the transformation of things, the smells of it, the tastes of it, it brought people together,&rdquo Andrés says. &ldquoI love clay. I love fire. Maybe I&rsquom a distant relative of Prometheus.&rdquo He is fond of telling one story: when he was a boy, he always wanted to stir the paella pan, but his father wouldn&rsquot let him cook. He first had to learn to control the fire.

After culinary school in Barcelona and a stint in the Spanish navy cooking for an admiral, Andrés arrived in New York City in 1991 as a 21-year-old chef with $50 in his pocket. He moved to D.C. a few years later to help start a Spanish-themed restaurant, Jaleo, and helped popularize tapas in the U.S. Success gave him the freedom to open more restaurants and experiment with new fare. In 2016, minibar, in D.C., which offers a tasting menu of a few dozen small courses, earned the coveted two-star Michelin rating. &ldquoHe&rsquos probably the most creative chef in the world today,&rdquo says French chef Eric Ripert, whose own flagship New York restaurant, Le Bernardin, regularly ranks among the best on the planet. Ripert points to a waffle stuffed with foie gras mousse, served at barmini&mdashminibar&rsquos companion cocktail and snack lounge&mdashas an Andrés creation that blew him away. &ldquoWaffles are not supposed to be savory,&rdquo he says. &ldquoYour chances of success with that are almost none. You see it coming and you&rsquore like, &lsquoWhat is that?&rsquo It&rsquos full of surprise.&rdquo

In an interview a few years back, Andrés, who became a U.S. citizen in 2013, said he speaks to his ingredients. But when I ask if he actually talks to his garlic, he says don&rsquot take him literally. &ldquoIf you are a cook and you don&rsquot understand the history and physics behind water, of tomatoes, it&rsquos very difficult for you to do anything. Come on, talking to ingredients is just, Are you aware of what you have in your hands? Are you deep in thought?&rdquo

While Andrés&rsquo restaurants caught on in the 1990s and his profile continued to rise&mdasha PBS show, Made in Spain, for example, debuted in 2008&mdashhe homed in on philanthropy. He lent time and resources to D.C. Central Kitchen, a local charity that not only feeds the capital&rsquos homeless and residents in need but also trains them to find cooking jobs. It was in 2010&mdashafter he visited Haiti following the earthquake that year&mdashthat he founded World Central Kitchen. &ldquoMy whole history with him has been listening to him and saying, &lsquoYou&rsquore crazy,&rsquo&rdquo says D.C. Central Kitchen founder Robert Egger. &ldquoThen he does it. At this point if he comes to me and has an idea for an intergalactic kitchen, I&rsquom like, &lsquoF-cking A, that&rsquos good. I&rsquom on board.&rsquo&rdquo

The organization pitched in on Hurricane Sandy relief in 2012, and in August 2017, Andrés traveled to Houston to help mobilize chefs after Hurricane Harvey. The work all led up to Hurricane Maria, which made landfall that September. &ldquoPuerto Rico was that moment where it&rsquos like, O.K., it&rsquos time to put into practice all that we&rsquove been soaking up over the years,&rdquo says Mook, World Central Kitchen&rsquos executive director. &ldquoWe saw the sheer paralysis of the government&rsquos response. We realized we were on the brink of a humanitarian crisis. We said, Let&rsquos start somewhere. Let&rsquos start cooking.&rdquo (Andrés appeared on TIME&rsquos list of the 100 most influential people in the world in both 2012 and 2018.)

World Central Kitchen has figured out that rather than relying on packaged food airlifted in from the outside&mdash&ldquomeals ready to eat&rdquo (MREs) in relief parlance&mdashAndrés and his team can tap into existing supply chains and local chefs to prepare hot meals. As its profile has expanded, its revenues have ballooned from around $650,000 in 2016 to $28.5 million in 2019, and the organization now has the wherewithal to hire local help&mdashas well as send out its own operations experts&mdashto kick-start the food economy. Some two-thirds of World Central Kitchen&rsquos 2019 revenues, or $19.1 million, came from individual donations, ranging from large gifts from philanthropists (including from Marc and Lynne Benioff, TIME&rsquos owners and co-chairs) to kids giving $6 out of their allowance. Former President Bill Clinton, whose Clinton Global Initiative has supported World Central Kitchen, says Andrés&rsquo empathic action is more crucial than ever in these divided times. &ldquoIf you spend more time on your fears than your hopes, on your resentments than your compassions, and you divide people up, in an interdependent world, bad things are going to happen,&rdquo Clinton, who first spent significant time with Andrés in Haiti after the earthquake, tells TIME. &ldquoIf that&rsquos all you do, you&rsquore not helping the people who have been victimized or left behind or overlooked. He&rsquos a walking model of what the 21st century citizen should be.&rdquo

About two months before his trip to Oakland, Andrés stomped into another airport, in San Juan, the first person off his flight from Washington, D.C. &ldquoGo do your thing, chef,&rdquo a man sitting at another gate told him as he made his way through the terminal. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake had brought Andrés back. A car was waiting to take him to the south, where the tremors damaged homes and left hungry people sleeping under tents. As his ride rushed through a lush green Puerto Rican mountainside, Andrés offered a master class in multitasking, one moment conducting ThinkFoodGroup business over the phone&mdash&ldquoI never saw the deal. I need to see the deal before I sign sh-t,&rdquo he barked at one executive&mdashwhile in another prepping his World Central Kitchen field workers for his arrival. &ldquoI&rsquove got good news and bad news,&rdquo he told one of them. &ldquoThe bad news is, I&rsquom coming …&rdquo

Working for the blunt Andrés is not for the faint of heart. On the other hand, the chaos of a restaurant kitchen translates into a disaster area. He often rubs his eyes and tugs at his beard, before expressing frustration. &ldquoI would like to say you put too much food on a tray,&rdquo he tells a few of his workers in Puerto Rico. &ldquoBut that never f-cking happens.&rdquo

During his 36 hours in Puerto Rico, Andrés pinballed to some half dozen World Central Kitchen sites to assist with the feeding efforts, at baseball fields, a track-and-field facility and a smaller indoor kitchen in the city of Ponce, where workers prepared ham-and-cheese sandwiches with globs of mayo. (&ldquoMakes them easy for the elderly to chew,&rdquo Andrés says.) In Peñuelas, the chef shared a quiet conversation with an overwhelmed food-truck operator World Central Kitchen had hired, urging her to change the menu for dinner before patting her on the back and departing for his next stop. In Guayanilla, Andrés went bed to bed handing out solar lights to frightened residents sleeping outside in the dark. In Yauco, he stirred meat sauce in one of World Central Kitchen&rsquos signature giant paella pans. Within days of the earthquake, Andrés&rsquo operation was serving 12,000 meals a day in Puerto Rico.

On the early-morning flight to Fort Lauderdale, Andrés earned the title of loudest snorer on board. He had been up late the previous night, enjoying a few pops of his go-to drink, the rum sour, at the San Juan restaurant whose namesake chef, Jose Enrique, first opened his kitchen doors to Andrés after Maria. And he had woken up that morning for a radio interview before the flight. In Florida, he would catch a private charter to Hurricane Dorian&ndashdamaged Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas, where hollowed-out cars still lie by the side of the road and only a stove remains where a kitchen once stood in most people&rsquos homes. Although the hurricane had struck more than three months earlier, World Central Kitchen still had a strong presence: Andrés takes pride that his team doesn&rsquot just parachute in. They stick around.

Andrés went door to door, distributing some two dozen hot meals, continuing his deliveries well past dark. Afterward, he was genuinely hurt that a few of his relief workers were too wiped out to join him for dinner and a few drinks. He napped again on the ride back to the hotel&mdashhis head bobbed with such force, it seemed in danger of collapsing to the ground. But once at the hotel he wanted to stay up a little longer, sip Irish whiskey on the beach and stare at the stars.

Perhaps Andrés crashes so hard because he lives in perpetual motion, often acting on impulse. His &ldquoplans&rdquo deserve quotation marks. He&rsquoll shout, &ldquoLet&rsquos go,&rdquo in his booming voice&mdashthen stick around for another hour, taking pictures, lugging a crate of apples to help feed people, talking to anyone within earshot. After leaving the cruise ship in Oakland, Andrés and his team were scheduled to hunker down in a San Francisco hotel room to figure out their strategy for feeding America in the wake of COVID-19. A staffer worked the phones to reserve a conference room. First, however, a spontaneous lunch interrupted: Andrés took five workers to a favorite Chinese restaurant, which was nearly empty because of coronavirus fears, for piles of dim sum. Then Andrés declared he wanted to move the meeting to a park. Then, instead of squatting in grass, Andrés decided that everyone, including himself, needed to find a barber to shave their beards and shorten their hair after a social-media user pointed out that facial hair can reduce the effectiveness of the N95 masks World Central Kitchen workers had been wearing. Andrés, who had been up until at least 2 a.m. on the East Coast before catching his early-morning transcontinental flight, passed out in the barber&rsquos chair, shaving cream smeared across his neck.

What looks like a scatterbrained approach can work in managing a crisis: while visiting the Bahamas, Andrés was in constant contact with his team in Puerto Rico, where another 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit after he left. But human relations are something else. If he&rsquos idling on Twitter when you ask for his attention, it can be grating. &ldquoHe&rsquos the salt to my life because he really brings the color and the flavor,&rdquo says Andrés&rsquo wife Patricia, who also hails from Spain she met him in D.C. in the 1990s. &ldquoBut sometimes I want to kill him, O.K.? Don&rsquot misunderstand me. Or throw him out the window.&rdquo

Andrés is sometimes so in his head and on mission, he&rsquos oblivious to his surroundings. He&rsquoll open a car door before the vehicle comes to a complete stop. He has a habit of walking in circles, staring straight ahead, while on important cell-phone calls: in Marsh Harbour, a car pulling into a takeout shop nearly hit him. In Ponce, while showing someone the proper angle at which he wanted to take a picture of lettuce growing in a greenhouse, he leaned against a rail and nearly took out a portion of the crop.

But a tendency to distraction belies his intense focus on whatever he&rsquos trying to accomplish. Andrés plays to win. The day before the NBA&rsquos All-Star Celebrity Game in February, I joined him for a training session at the National Basketball Players Association gym in New York City. His friend José Calderón, a former NBA player from Spain, works as a special assistant to the union&rsquos executive director. During a game of 3-on-3, Andrés fouled me with his shoulders, barely attempting to move his feet. He employed similar tactics, it turns out, while playing with his daughters in the driveway of their Bethesda, Md., home. &ldquoWe were 10, 12 years old, and he didn&rsquot care,&rdquo says his eldest daughter Carlota, 21. &ldquoWe were on the floor.&rdquo He wasn&rsquot much nicer to the officials at their youth hoops contests. &ldquoHe would get kicked out of my games multiple times,&rdquo Carlota says. &ldquoI think it started when I was in second grade.&rdquo

He brings both temper and tenderness. &ldquoI am getting very anxious,&rdquo he said in a raised voice at one of his relief workers over the phone in Puerto Rico. &ldquoCan we for once f-cking show up at the same time and the same place … Are we in control, or are we not in control?&rdquo But he&rsquoll later tell his crew how proud he is of them, or how much he loves them. When he got wind that classmates were telling the 9-year-old daughter of one of his workers that she might get coronavirus because her father was working near the cruise ship, Andrés grabbed his colleague&rsquos phone and recorded a video message for her and two younger siblings. &ldquoYour daddy is a hero, period,&rdquo Andrés said, choking up slightly. &ldquoSo don&rsquot worry, your daddy is going to be home soon and he is going to be taking care of all of you. And I only want you to be super proud of your dad.&rdquo

In the Bahamas, a woman yelled out to Andrés from her car and simply put her hands together, as if she were in church it was her way of telling him he&rsquos a blessing. On his way to his office in D.C. in February, a woman from Japan stopped to thank him for feeding the cruise-ship passengers docked in Yokohama. And as he walked through downtown San Francisco, puffing on a cigar, a woman approached him gingerly to tell him that she&rsquos donated to World Central Kitchen and that it was an honor to meet him. She then tiptoed away, as if she&rsquod just disturbed rare air.

His decision to head to San Francisco&mdashwhere one of his workers wore a hazmat suit as he drove the forklift of food to the cruise ship&mdashdidn&rsquot make much sense to me. The World Central Kitchen team was handling the feeding just fine. The mission was winding down. D.C. was going to serve as the Chefs for America command center to address hunger caused by COVID-19 disruptions. So why would the man who says he &ldquowants to take the lead in feeding America&rdquo after the outbreak risk getting sick, or grounded, 2,500 miles away from home base?

This line of inquiry annoys him. &ldquoSh-t, I want to be with the guys to see it and give thanks,&rdquo says Andrés on the flight west. &ldquoWhat a question to ask. Like, why the f-ck do you get married?&rdquo At the University of San Francisco kitchen, a chef who has worked on prior World Central Kitchen missions lights up when she spots Andrés. They exchange a hug. Andrés turns my way. &ldquoYou ask me why I come,&rdquo he says. &ldquoWhat the f-ck? What&rsquos wrong with you?&rdquo

Andrés has something in common with his buddy Clinton: he craves connecting with people. His public face&mdashyukking it up on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, pumping up World Central Kitchen on social media, giving booming speeches to audiences that hang on every word&mdashhas earned him a reputation as a tireless advocate for humanity. But he doesn&rsquot always feel so fresh himself. On the flight from Florida to the Bahamas in January, Andrés finally set aside his phone, reclined and admitted that the expectations of feeding the world, and running some 30 restaurants, weigh on him. Over the past few years, both his parents have died. His good friend Anthony Bourdain committed suicide. Two of his daughters left for college. &ldquoYou wake up in the morning, and you&rsquore like, oooof,&rdquo says Andrés. Sometimes he feels like staying in bed. &ldquoAll of this is happening in front of you and you feel like you&rsquore losing control.&rdquo

He also has to fight getting in too deep. &ldquoMy biggest worry is that the dream of feeding the world takes a toll on me that it becomes almost sickening,&rdquo Andrés says. &ldquoYou become totally obsessed with it. You&rsquore enjoying dinner somewhere, and you&rsquore checking your phone. Has there been an earthquake? What&rsquos happening in Syria? What the f-ck happened there, how are we not there? I have a company to run. I have a family. I cannot disappear from the life of other people that need me too.&rdquo

Patricia remembers her husband waking up one morning anxious around three years ago, before Hurricane Maria, when he was already a famed, award-winning chef. &ldquoHe&rsquos like, What am I going to do with my life?&rdquo she says. &ldquoAm I doing enough? I&rsquom not doing anything.&rdquo He still expresses such sentiments. &ldquoHe doesn&rsquot look at what he has done,&rdquo she says. &ldquoHe is looking at what he still has to do.&rdquo

Those closest to him worry that all the work is wearing him down. &ldquoI wish he could lose some weight and get fit,&rdquo says Patricia. That Nobel Peace Prize nomination and the global adoration are nice and all: just imagine, she jokingly tells him, what he could do if he were in better shape.

&ldquoThe only thing I worry is, I don&rsquot think he spends enough time taking care of José,&rdquo says Clinton. &ldquoHe works a lot. I don&rsquot want him to burn out. I don&rsquot want him to drop dead someday because he has a heart attack, because he never took the time to exercise, and relax and do what he needs to do. He&rsquos a treasure. He&rsquos a national treasure for us, and a world treasure now. He&rsquos really one of the most special people I&rsquove ever known.&rdquo

Andrés shoos away all calls to slim down: he insists he runs 325 days a year. He allows, however, that the suffering he&rsquos seen up close at disaster scenes&mdashdead bodies, elderly people sleeping in soiled beds, starving people eating roots and drinking filthy water&mdashstrains his mind. To cope, he sometimes turns to what he calls a &ldquostrange thought&rdquo for solace. The thought is that as more climate disasters inevitably hit both the developed and under-developed worlds, poor people in places like the Bahamas and Puerto Rico may at least be better equipped to cope. &ldquoThis gives me a little bit of strange happiness only in the sense saying, You know one thing? Maybe life is preparing them for a worse moment,&rdquo says Andrés. &ldquoAnd actually the fittest will survive and it&rsquos not me, it&rsquos not us, it&rsquos them.&rdquo

Meanwhile, Andrés vows that World Central Kitchen will continue to grow. Splitting time between the nonprofit and his restaurants hadn&rsquot hurt business before the COVID-19 shutdown. On the contrary, revenues had doubled in the past two years, thanks in large part to the opening of Mercado Little Spain, the food market in Manhattan&rsquos Hudson Yards complex, though the goodwill Andrés has earned through World Central Kitchen and his rising profile have also helped. Andrés believes World Central Kitchen, at 10 years old, is still in its infancy. He and his team are learning as they go, and he&rsquos confident that with COVID-19 threatening Americans&rsquo familiar way of living, World Central Kitchen will pass its biggest test yet.


An employee at Brazilian fast food restaurant Giraffas was videoed feeding a disabled customer who was unable use his arms to cut and lift a fork to his mouth. To read the full story, click here.

After a gunman opened fire inside a Waffle House in Tennessee, 29-year-old James Shaw Jr. bravely charged the shooter and wrestled the gun away. To read the full story, click here.


San Jose shooting – Grandpa, 63, and dad-of-two among victims massacred by Samuel Cassidy at union meeting

Samuel Cassidy, 57, has been named as the shooter who slaughtered nine coworkers and wounded several more at the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) maintenance yard at around 6:30am yesterday.

Read our San Jose shooting live blog for the very latest news and updates.

Eight victims, who were all employees at the railyard, were named by the Santa Clara County Coroner last night.

Taptejdeep Singh, 36, was a dad of two and Lars Lane, 63, was described as a "loving brother, husband, and grandfather" by grieving family members.

The other victims are: Paul Delacruz Megia, 42, Adrian Balleza, 29 Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35 Timothy Romo, 49 Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63 and Michael Rudometkin, 40.

Alex Ward Fritch, who was wounded by the gunfire, died on Wednesday night at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

The gunman turned the weapon on himself, authorities said.

Councilman Raul Peralez paid tribute to Rudometkin on Facebook.

He posted: “My heart is broken, I still don’t want to believe this… Mikey was all around the greatest guy.”

Air Force Veteran Timothy Romo had worked at VTA for over two decades.

His neighbor Nancy Martin told the San Francisco Chronicle: “He was a very friendly man, always ready to help you out."

Chilling CCTV footage released last night captured the suspected gunman who carried out the massacre walking away from his home just before it goes up in flames.

The footage shows the man believed to be Cassidy preparing for his impending bloodshed, innocuously walking between a white Ford pickup and dark Toyota sedan parked at his home driveway.

A witness managed to videotape the same home bursting with flames and clouded in dark smoke as firefighters tirelessly work to put it out.

Santa Clara County Sgt. Russell Davis confirmed on Wednesday that the people who died in the rampage all are believed to be VTA employees.

The company reportedly has 2,100 employees, however, it is unclear how many people were on-site at the time.

Cassidy and the responding officers did not exchange gunfire.

Officials announced that the man turned his gun on himself "when he realized deputies were in the building.”

The deadly incident is believed to have occurred while workers were conducting a union meeting, KTVU reported.

In the aftermath, the building was also being searched “room-by-room” by bomb squads using sniffer dogs because there is suspicion that Cassidy planted multiple explosive devices at the VTA station.

"Bomb-making materials" as well as numerous cans of gasoline were discovered at Cassidy's home, authorities told KPIX5.

The residence, which had been set ablaze allegedly by Cassidy himself, also kept several weapons and “hundreds of rounds of ammunition” inside it, according to law enforcement sources who spoke to the LA Times.

A spokesperson for the San Jose Fire Department confirmed there are "multiple scenes" connected to the shooting, though declined to elaborate further.

Local media have reported that Cassidy's name is on the deed of the home being investigated by authorities.

Cassidy was a maintenance worker for VTA, police said.

His father, 88-year-old James Cassidy, told The Daily Beast that his son "seemed completely himself" in the days leading up to the shooting.

"He didn't talk about his job or politics. I just found out he was dead and his house on fire and all that a minute ago," he said.

"It's really…. I really, really don’t want to… I guess I have to just kind of absorb it all myself. I don’t really have any information anyway, so… sorry."

Cassidy’s ex-wife Cecilia Nelms remembered the man as being extremely moody.

“He had two sides,” Nelms, 64, told the Canon City Daily Record. “When he was in a good mood he was a great guy. When he was mad, he was mad."

The couple divorced in 2005, according to the paper.

Cassidy had been working as a mechanic for a San Jose car dealer during the first two years of their matrimony before he took a job at the VTA.

The paper found that Cassidy had acquired a license to perform smog check inspections in 2003 and used to work at a San Jose Mazda dealership.

However, she said she has not been in contact with him for the last decade.

Glenn Hendricks, the chairperson of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority board of directors, said at a press conference that the shooting happened in the yard area of the station.

"This is a horrific day for our city and a tragic day for the VTA family," Hendricks said, holding back tears.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo also spoke during the briefing, calling the shooting a "very dark moment."

"Our heart pains for the families and the co-workers, because we know that so many are feeling deeply this loss of their loved ones and their friends," he said.

"Now is a moment for us to collect ourselves, to understand what happened, to mourn, and to help those who have suffered to heal."

The major vowed to ensure that "nothing like this ever happens in our city again."


The Cooked and the Raw

At the age of 43, Anthony Bourdain had found a niche cooking traditional French food at a casual bistro in New York. Hard work paid his bills, but an appetite for the low life chained him to the stove. He wanted something better, so he decided to write about his life in the kitchen.

In April 1999, The New Yorker published his essay "Don't Eat Before Reading This," which Bourdain describes as "a short entertaining story meant to please my friends in the business." It extolled the virtues of traditional French cooking, told some unpleasant truths about the restaurant world, kicked up a media storm and led to a best-selling book, Kitchen Confidential.

That opened the doors for Bourdain. Now 58, his knowledge of food, passion for storytelling and intolerance of fakery make him one of America's best-known culinary personalities and, not incidentally, an astringent cultural commentator. Although he has written several well-received books, most of America knows him as the star and producer of several groundbreaking television series.

Bourdain's current show, Parts Unknown, airs on CNN, where it is the network's highest-rated series, no doubt because it goes well beyond standard foodie-travel fare. Using the shared experience of eating and drinking to draw out insights and information that traditional reporting often overlooks, Bourdain seems to have created a whole new genre of television journalism.

"I can't tell you how many times since the program's launch we have had other people come to CNN and say to us, ‘I want to do a show like Bourdain's,' " says Jeff Zucker, the network's president.

Chef José Andrés, who has made more than 300 TV episodes of his own, puts his finger on it: "He connects the dots in ways you don't always imagine."

"He speaks his mind, and since he's so damned smart, it's worth broadcasting," says Michael Ruhlman, who has co-authored cookbooks with Thomas Keller and Eric Ripert and appeared in several episodes with Bourdain. "He's also really funny, just naturally hilarious."

Ripert, the France-born chef of New York's Le Bernardin, says Kitchen Confidential was the first book he ever read in English. To express his gratitude for nice things Bourdain said about his restaurant in the book, he invited the author to lunch.

"That was the beginning of a great friendship," says Ripert. "Although we come from different backgrounds and different kitchens, we became close because we share the same values. We have the same admiration for craftsmanship. He's no-nonsense."

By his own admission, Bourdain wasted the first 44 years of his life. Drugs and alcohol kept him from rising beyond anonymous cooking jobs. As he worked his way up through kitchens of various levels of repute, he carried a huge chip on his shoulder, given to snide, often profane comments among friends and colleagues about trendy foods and celebrity chefs.

When he started to write and appear on television, he quickly earned a reputation as the bad boy of the food world for voicing those same thoughts. He would skewer television cooking shows mercilessly, especially those of Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray and Paula Deen.

Of late, having met some of the objects of his derision, he has mellowed. He now rubs shoulders with celebrity chefs. And he is often listed among them, not due to his cooking skills, which he downplays, but because he can describe their often-arcane food world in vivid terms even a noncook can understand.

Bourdain has also abandoned his rakish reputation, now leading a steadier life as a family man. In 2006, Ripert set him up on a blind date with Ottavia Busia. At the time, she was working 16 hours a day managing a restaurant for which Ripert was consulting, and Bourdain was traveling the world shooting for TV, keeping an apartment above a sandwich shop near the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

"I was home only three or four days a month," says Bourdain. His first marriage, to his high school sweetheart, had unraveled after 20 years under the strain of his extensive traveling. "I was lonely. I had nothing resembling a romantic life. I didn't have a social life."

Today, he lives in a posh apartment in New York's Upper East Side with Ottavia and their 7-year old daughter, Ariane. "When I am back in New York, it's for a week or 10 days a month, and I'm not going out," he says. "I'm home, I cook breakfast for my daughter, I walk her to school and pick her up when I can."

The whole family also does jiujitsu together, a competitive pursuit Ottavia took up after Ariane was born. "She does jiujitsu three or four hours a day, six days a week, working hard to master a skill that is mentally and physically demanding. She's not sitting at home filing her nails or shopping until I come home. She's just fine choking grown men unconscious."

Bourdain also insists on at least one family-friendly shoot a year. He may be abroad, sharing exotic dishes and insightful conversation with celebrated and offbeat characters, but Ottavia and Ariane will join him at the table.

Bourdain grew up in New Jersey, his father a classical-music executive for Columbia Records and his mother an editor for The New York Times. They made a comfortable home.

"Music was important," Bourdain says. "Words were important. Things that felt good were valued. Food was always a part of that. If food was delicious, there was value attached to it. I didn't realize my upbringing was different from other kids', but it was."

The house was filled with books. Bourdain was a good student, especially for English teachers "who gave me the idea that words were dangerous weapons. I learned to use words to get myself into trouble, out of trouble, and to get people to give me what I wanted."

While enrolled at Vassar College, Bourdain spent summer breaks in Provincetown, Mass., where he got jobs in restaurants. Starting as a dishwasher, he developed into a reliable line cook, then continued up the ranks. He soon discovered that the rock stars of the kitchen were not necessarily those who cooked better, but whoever could tell the most evocative stories.

"There's a rich and glorious tradition in professional kitchens of using words in an interesting, hyperbolic, lurid and, most importantly, entertaining way," he says. As a chef, he preferred cutting sarcasm to a full-on assault. "No matter how angry or disappointed I was, if you couldn't laugh about it later over a beer then I failed as a manager."

He also, he admits, squandered opportunity after opportunity. He dropped out of Vassar. Although he graduated in 1978 from the Culinary Institute of America, he never apprenticed in great kitchens. "I went right to work for as much money as I could get, with friends who did the sort of things that I liked to do, which was drugs. All my decisions were based on who could give me access to girls and drugs."

A chance encounter changed everything. Michael Batterberry, founder and editor of the influential culinary magazine Food Arts, became a regular at Manhattan restaurant Brasserie Les Halles, where Bourdain was cooking in the 1990s. Having read the chef's two detective novels (they were well-reviewed but not best-sellers), Batterberry assigned him a story for Food Arts. "Mission to Tokyo" presaged Bourdain's ability to find extra elements in travel.

Batterberry also encouraged the literate chef to write the New Yorker essay. Inspired by George Orwell's acerbic 1933 tell-all restaurant book Down and Out in Paris and London, "Don't Eat Before Reading This" explained why it wasn't a good idea to select fish from a menu on a Monday, and how chefs punish those who order well-done steaks by using the tougher examples "riddled with nerve and connective tissue, off the hip end of the loin, and maybe a little stinky from age."

"Within hours there were TV crews here at Les Halles," owner Philippe Lajaunie recalls. He actually welcomed the interruptions. "In those days, every book or article done by a chef was always glossy and fuzzy and warm," says Lajaunie. "This was totally different. The publicity was good for us."

Bourdain expanded the article into Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. Published in 2000, the book's frank, raucous tone infuriated many old-guard French chefs, who did not want their clientele to know how many restaurants reused uneaten bread, or saved the worst ingredients for customers they did not like. Accounts of sex and drugs in their kitchens made them queasy. "Their reaction was, ‘Who is this asshole?' " Bourdain recalls, "because I'd never worked anyplace they knew."

His budding career might have died if Jacques Pépin had not stood up for him. A chef of the highest regard, mentor and teacher of professionals (and, via television, home cooks), Pépin did not know Bourdain personally, but defended him—even the bit about reusing bread. "Transforming leftovers into other dishes is the sign of a very good cook, actually," Pépin said in a CNN interview.

"All he said in Kitchen Confidential was what really happens in the kitchen," Pépin says today. "The drugs I don't know about, but reusing bread? Fish not fresh? It's something we all had to deal with. Most of all, chefs today are indebted to him for bringing our trade from the bottom of the social scale to where chefs are being called geniuses."

Even when the book was high on best-seller lists, Bourdain kept his chef job.

"The notion that I would ever make a living writing . that seemed, generally speaking, crazy talk," he says. When the publisher asked for another book, Bourdain was stumped for a topic. "I only had one life, and I'd already written about it. I needed new stories."

He had hardly traveled outside the United States, so he proposed exploring the world's most interesting food cities and writing about his adventures. "To my utter shock, they bought it," he says.

Then two representatives from New York Times Television arrived at Les Halles to explore ideas for a TV show based on Kitchen Confidential. Having already sold the TV rights (for an ill-fated sitcom), he told them, "I apparently have to go eat my way around the world and write about it. How about that?"

Freelance producers Chris Collins and Lydia Tenaglia were assigned to shoot an 11-minute documentary in his kitchen at Les Halles as a pilot. Presently Bourdain found himself in a meeting with Food Network to pitch the show. He was in full bad-boy mode. "I horribly insulted them at every possibility," he recalls. "I didn't bother to shave or bathe for the meeting."

Nevertheless, Food Network ordered 23 half-hour episodes of A Cook's Tour, produced by New York Times Television.

The show would be a turning point not only for Bourdain but also for Collins and Tenaglia. The pair came to the project ignorant about food, fresh from producing and directing several documentary series on hospital emergency rooms. They had just been married. They joke today that Tony came with them on their honeymoon. They helped shape his unique approach, and have worked with him ever since. Their business partnership, Zero Point Zero, has made all of Bourdain's subsequent series (and other highly regarded series such as The Getaway on Esquire Network, Extra Virgin on Cooking Channel, The Mind of a Chef on PBS and The Hunt With John Walsh on CNN).

But the first stop did not go well. In Tokyo, Bourdain balked when Tenaglia asked him to turn to the camera and explain what he was doing. "I was stunned," he admits. "I had really thought I would walk down the street, go into a restaurant to eat, and somehow they would shoot over my shoulder. I knew how to write a story and I could talk a good game, but I had no clue about how to talk to a camera."

Bourdain struggled to find a rhythm in the first couple of episodes. "But the minute we got to the next location, Vietnam, he came alive," Tenaglia says. "Vietnam had—still has—resonance for him. He had read all the literature, had seen so many movies he could draw from."

After a long day shooting and eating, Bourdain was sitting at a bar in Nha Trang, staring up at a ceiling fan. It reminded him of Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, a movie about the Vietnam War. In an early scene, the protagonist, perspiring in his hotel bed, fixates on a ceiling fan, the whirling blades a gesture to the omnipresent military helicopters. Bourdain suggested they finish the show with the camera shooting through the rotating fan, Bourdain moaning in bed from too much food and drink.

"That's where we found our groove," Collins says. "We had all seen Apocalypse Now and had those visual references to enhance the storytelling."

"Tony began to understand how pictures and sound interplay with the story to make it more powerful," adds Tenaglia.

After two seasons of A Cook's Tour, Bourdain received an unexpected invitation from Ferran Adrià, the superstar chef of Spain's El Bulli, at the time the world's most talked-about restaurant.

Typically for Bourdain, it all started with an off-the-cuff snarky comment. At the time, food insiders were divided on El Bulli, some in awe of its culinary magic, others dismissive. In a Kitchen Confidential chapter on the restaurant Veritas in New York, Bourdain asked the chef, Scott Bryan, about Adrià, calling him "the foam guy." Bryan smirked. "I ate there, dude—and it's like . bogus. I had seawater sorbet!"

But later, on a book tour in Spain, Bourdain received a message through his publisher. Adrià had invited the writer to visit his workshop in northeastern Spain.

"We drank cava together and talked," Bourdain recounts. "We communicated in bad French. The next day he took me to his favorite ham place, called Jamonissimo, where we sat in the back and ate ham. I liked this man. He likes ham. He's talking about it in a way I can totally relate to. But I still hadn't eaten any of his food."

Adrià invited Bourdain to come back with a camera crew to film his whole process. He wanted to show that it came from a place in his heart, specific to who he was and where he was. Bourdain could not wait to share the news with Food Network: He had the greatest chef in the world to lead off the third season.

They weren't interested. "They said, ‘He doesn't talk English it's too smart for us,' " Bourdain says, shaking his head. He was already chafing under Food Network's preference to limit A Cook's Tour to the United States and do more shows on barbecue and tailgating. So there would be no season three. Bourdain spent more time at Les Halles. Collins and Tenaglia freelanced on other documentaries.

But Bourdain could not forget Adrià's invitation. He circled back to New York Times Television. "I said, ‘I'll put up my own money. Chris and Lydia would put up their money. How about you put up $3,000 or $4,000?' Mmm, no."

Eventually, the three paid their way to Spain and shot a one-hour documentary, with no idea how to market it. Ecco Press, about to publish Adrià's lavish cookbook, agreed to buy 1,000 copies of the DVD, titled Decoding Ferran Adrià. Buoyed by the book, the DVD sold well overseas. Bourdain, Collins and Tenaglia also used it as a calling card to get a deal with Travel Channel for a new show, which debuted in 2005.

A one-hour show, No Reservations had time to go into more depth, depicting more of the cultures and the people involved. "I asked simple questions like, ‘Why are you eating this? Where do these things come from? What food makes you happy? What food do you miss most when you're away from home for a while?' " And, Bourdain noticed, "People would reveal extraordinary things about their lives."

Trapped in Beirut in July 2006 as the Israel-Lebanon war broke out, Bourdain and his crew drew out information and insights from people they had met, over lunches and dinners in their homes, that traditional news organizations were not getting.

He affects a deep, newsman voice: "I'm here to get the story. What do you think about the Middle East? Where's the front? Who's fighting? Who do you think's going to win? OK, thanks, bye." Continuing in a normal voice, "By being the guy who just shows up and says, ‘What's for dinner?' without malice and without an agenda, without being in a hurry, we got really incredible, often complicated, stories."

To develop these connections, Bourdain is willing to eat some things most people would shun, a list that includes sheep testicles in Morocco, ant eggs in Mexico, a raw seal eyeball as part of a traditional Inuit hunt in Alaska, and a cobra in Vietnam.

"Often the food can be delicious, or even if I don't think so, the people who are making it for me are proud and eager to share it, and much more open to talking about anything when a stranger expresses a willingness to sit down and eat with an open mind," Bourdain notes. "The minute you say, ‘Oh, no, that's OK, I won't have the sheep's eyeball or the shot of moonshine,' that pretty much shuts down the possibility of a deeper relationship."

These revelations increasingly became an important part of No Reservations, which ran for nine seasons on Travel Channel, winning two Emmy awards for cinematography. As Parts Unknown, his CNN show, enters its fifth season in April, viewers are already accustomed to topics that set it apart.

Season four examined how the people of Iran survive under their oppressive government, unraveled mysteries in today's Vietnam, and took a highly personal look at Massachusetts, where Bourdain, while reporting on a heroin epidemic in the bucolic western part of the state, revealed in horrifying detail his own struggles with drugs. Although occasional episodes still focus on gastronomy—a visit to Burgundy with chef Daniel Boulud was one standout—food is now only a starting point.

Bourdain was reluctant to be interviewed about wine. "I know almost nothing about it," he says. "I am not entirely ignorant on the subject, nor am I dismissive of its importance. But it's not what I do."

A revealing passage in Kitchen Confidential confides: I am not immune to the charms of wine. I've lived around it, enjoyed it, cooked with it all my life. I can tell the difference between good wine, bad wine and great wine. But I couldn't tell you grape variety with any more assurance than I could talk about stamp collecting or phrenology.

And to be truthful, I've always felt that I've survived enough dangerous obsessions in my life the knowledgeable appreciation of fine wine has always seemed to me to hold potential for becoming yet another consuming habit—an expensive one. When you know what it's like to squat on a blanket on upper Broadway in the snow, selling off a lifetime's accumulation of rare books, records and comic books for drugs, the idea of spending next week's paycheck on a bottle of red seems like, well, something that I probably shouldn't be doing.

That was then. What about now?

Bourdain and I are settling down to lunch. He chose the restaurant—chef Michael White's recently opened Ristorante Morini, near Bourdain's East Side apartment. Having just come from a jiujitsu session with his wife and daughter, he was ready for a glass or two to ease the accumulated aches and fatigue. I hand him the wine list, hoping to get a handle on his wine tastes. "Oh, no," he protests, handing it back. "That will be your department."

"OK, what are you in the mood for?" I ask, opening the thick book.

"I'm having steak, and garganelli with a Bolognese, so definitely something red," he decides. "I don't like big Bordeaux anymore. That's a side of the spectrum I'm getting away from as I get older. I'm moving toward trashier, rougher Côtes du Rhône, wildly unpredictable Burgundies, and regional wines of Italy that I have absolutely no idea what the hell they are except they're from someplace I'm interested in. I've been drinking, what's the Sardinian wine, Cannonau?"

Clearly, he is not as clueless as he pretends. "You like funk?" I ask, "or fruit?"

I choose Ar.Pe.Pe Valtellina 1995, a Nebbiolo from Lombardy, in northern Italy, a mature red with a lovely sense of refinement and precision.

"Perfect," he declares. "That's where my wife is from. I'm happiest drinking wine when I am out with my wife's family. We go to the local agriturismo. We're drinking Lombardian wine, and I'll say, ‘This wine is really great, who made it?' And the answer is, ‘That guy—from those vines over there.' "

The wine arrives. He sips. "This wine makes me smile," he says. "What more need be said?"

Bourdain's travel series seldom focus on wine, except in European countries where a bottle of wine is simply another ingredient for lunch or dinner, not to be fussed over. The final season of No Reservations, however, included a segment on Ray Walker, an American using old-school methods to make his Maison Ilan Burgundies in Nuits-St.-Georges.

"He was amazing," Bourdain says. "He taught himself French by reading 19th-century winemaking texts. He doesn't top up the barrels as the wine evaporates, but puts marbles in instead [to raise the level]. Even the French just start weeping and say, no one has made wine like this in 300 years."

The segment, which aired in October 2012, was part of a Burgundy tour he made in a cramped, ancient Citroën with Ludovic Lefebvre, the bad-boy Los Angeles chef (and Burgundy native). We see Walker and Lefebvre haul a barrel up from the lower cellar and transfer wine into it through a large rectangular funnel. Bourdain's tasting note: "This is good shit."

Lefebvre now works with Bourdain on The Taste, the ABC network cooking competition show Bourdain co-produces and co-hosts with English food writer and television personality Nigella Lawson.

On the set, each of the four judges has a separate trailer and an individualized mise-en-scène where they can be shown meeting with the contestants they mentor. Lawson's is done up to look like an oyster bar Lefebvre's, a bistro Marcus Samuelsson's, a New Orleans-themed café. Bourdain's emulates a food market in Vietnam, where he first discovered his TV chops.

He has traversed a long, strange road since that first headiness of screen storytelling. His list of TV and writing credits is lengthy, and includes collaborations with many of the world's top chefs and restaurants (see "The Bourdain File").

To hear him tell it, however, the highlight of his writing career came when David Simon asked him for help with Treme, the HBO series (2010-2013) set in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. Treme needed someone to write scenes involving the chef character Janette Desautel, played by Kim Dickens. Bourdain consulted on a couple of episodes on season one and joined the writing staff for the last three seasons.

An outspoken fan of Simon's The Wire, Bourdain says of the experience, "It was like, you're a lifelong baseball fan and somewhere out of the mists Joe DiMaggio says, ‘Hey, you want to come to the backyard and throw the ball around—in fact, why don't you join the team?' I would have done it for free."

He was awed by the reverence his fellow travelers in the culinary world showed for the series. "I would suggest a David Chang-like character, and Simon responds, ‘Let's get David Chang,' " says Bourdain, enthusiastically ticking off an imposing list of star chefs who populated the second and third seasons—Chang, Ripert, Tom Colicchio, Wylie Dufresne, Boulud and Jonathan Waxman.

"These chefs, they're busy people. We could call any chef and say, you want to be on Treme? and in every single case they would be there."

Bourdain's star shines brightest, however, when he is sharing food with locals in Colombia, Jerusalem or Russia, satisfying his irrepressible urge to explore. His first time traveling abroad since he accompanied his parents on visits to France as a child was a 10-day trip to Tokyo in 1999 to help open a branch of Les Halles there, which also produced the "Mission to Tokyo" article. Retelling the story in Kitchen Confidential, he foreshadowed a compulsion to make his storytelling an endless search for the exotic, the strange, the unexpected. He wrote: I did not want to leave. I had only begun to eat. There were a million restaurants, bars, temples, back alleys, nightclubs, neighborhoods and markets to explore. Fully feeling the effects of the sake, I was seriously considering burning my passport, trading my jeans and leather jacket for a dirty seersucker suit and disappearing into the exotic East.

I pictured myself as a character like Greene's Scobie in Africa, or the narrator of The Quiet American in Saigon, even Kurtz in the Congo in Heart of Darkness, my head swimming with all sorts of romantically squalid notions.

Heart of Darkness was on his mind when Bourdain suggested the ceiling fan shot for the Cook's Tour episode on Vietnam. (The Joseph Conrad novel was an inspiration for Apocalypse Now.) The reference to a movie based on that book led, inevitably, to the devastating "Congo" episode in the first season of Parts Unknown. In it, Bourdain reenacts the book's odyssey up the Congo River. As the protagonist does in the book, he traces how the greed of many conquerors, including Congo's own homegrown leaders, had ravaged the country. It had little to do with food, but it was compelling journalism.

Bourdain's own story traces an arc from washing dishes in a Provincetown dive to running the kitchen of a successful bistro, putting substance abuse problems behind him to tell stories about the food world, and ultimately digging into deeper crannies of our human culture.

"I wasted a lot of my life, but it paid off in the end," he says, leaning back into Lawson's sofa on The Taste set. "Had I been a better chef, would I have written Kitchen Confidential? Would I be sitting here now? Would I have seen the world? Would I have had the life I've had the last 14 years, that I'm having now? Probably not."

So, after all that, how would he like to be remembered? "Maybe that I grew up a little," he suggests. "That I'm a dad, that I'm not a half-bad cook, that I can make a good coq au vin. That would be nice. And not such a bad bastard after all."


Investigators explore possibility that Border Patrol agent died in accident

Nearly two weeks after a U.S. Border Patrol agent died near Van Horn, investigators are exploring whether an accident, not an attack, is the cause of his death.

Evidence gathered at the scene does not suggest an assault, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the investigation say. The possibility that Rogelio Martinez and his partner were sideswiped by a tractor trailer’s side mirror on a moonless night is growing theory, they said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

When asked specifically about the possibility of an accident, FBI spokeswoman Jeanette Harper confirmed Wednesday that investigators are exploring that scenario, but she said they had not ruled out an attack by immigrants or drug traffickers, or other scenarios.

And: Mesquite police have fired the officer who shot a man during an investigation into a report that a pickup, which belonged to the wounded man, had been broken into.

Meanwhile: Mesquite's City Council won't be able to vote on a forced annexation of some 5.7 square miles before a new state law goes into effect Friday.


Bolivia arrests ex-leader in crackdown on opposition

Bolivia’s former Interim President Jeanine Áñez, center, who has been detained, is escorted Bolivian Police Commander Jhonny Aguilera at the military airport in El Alto, Bolivia, Saturday, March 13, 2021. Prosecutors ordered the arrest Áñez and several former ministers for sedition. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — The conservative interim president who led Bolivia for a year was arrested Saturday as officials of the restored leftist government pursue those involved in the 2019 ouster of socialist leader Evo Morales, which they regard as a coup, and the administration that followed.

Jeanine Áñez was detained in the early morning in her hometown of Trinidad and was flown to the capital, La Paz, where she appeared before a prosecutor.

“This is an abuse,” she told reporters after the appearance. “There was no coup d’etat, but a constitutional succession” when she took over.

From a police cell in La Paz, Áñez called on the Organization of American States and the European Union to send missions to Bolivia to evaluate what she called “an illegal detention.”

The arrest of Áñez and warrants against numerous other former officials further worsened political tensions in a South American country already torn by a cascade of perceived wrongs suffered by both sides. Those include complaints that Morales had grown more authoritarian with nearly 13 years in office, that he illegally ran for a fourth reelection and then allegedly rigged the outcome, that right-wing forces led violent protests that prompted security forces to push him into resigning and then cracked down on his followers, who themselves protested the alleged coup.

Dozens of people were killed in a series of demonstrations against and then for Morales.

“This is not justice,” said former President Carlos Mesa, who has finished second to Morales in several elections. “They are seeking to decapitate an opposition by creating a false narrative of a coup to distract from a fraud.”

Morales, meanwhile, sent a tweet saying, “The authors and accomplices of the dictatorship should be investigated and published.”

Other arrest warrants were issued for more than a dozen other former officials. Those include several ex-cabinet ministers, as well as former military leader William Kaliman and the police chief who had urged Morales to resign in November 2019 after the country was swept by protests against the country’s first Indigenous president.

After Morales resigned — or was pushed — and flew abroad, many of his key supporters also resigned. Áñez, a legislator who had been several rungs down the ladder of presidential succession, was vaulted into the interim presidency.

Once there, she abruptly wrenched Bolivia’s policies to the right and her administration tried to prosecute Morales and an array of his supporters on terrorism and sedition charges, alleging election rigging and oppression of protests.

But Morales Movement Toward Socialism remained popular. It won last year’s elections with 55% of the vote under Morales’ chosen candidate Luis Arce, who took the presidency in November. Áñez had dropped out after plunging in the polls.

Two ministers in Áñez’s government were also arrested on Friday, including former Justice Minister Alvaro Coimbra, who had helped lead the prosecution of Morales’ aides. A former defense minister and others also have been accused.

New Justice Minister Iván Lima said that Áñez, 53, faces charges related to her actions as an opposition senator, not as former president.

Interior Minister Eduardo del Castillo denied it was an act of persecution, saying the case arose from a criminal complaint of conspiracy and sedition filed against her in November, the month she left office.

The Americas director of Human Rights Watch, José Miguel Vivanco, said from Washington that the arrest warrants against Áñnez and her ministers “contain no evidence whatsoever that they have committed the crime of terrorism.”

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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