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tv   Jose Andres We Fed an Island  CSPAN  September 14, 2018 7:03pm-8:32pm EDT

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where these people, these smart people, spent early days and were plotting out there life's course. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] announcer: c-span travels to u.s. cities to explore literary life and historic sites. ourou like to watch features, you can see them all at c-span.org/city sort -- cities tour. as north and south carolina are in the midst of hurricane florence, chef jose andres will share his experiences tonight providing food relief after hurricane maria hit puerto rico last year. his organization is called world central kitchen and his book is fed an island."
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we're expecting jose andres momentarily, here on c-span.
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[background noise]
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>> good evening and welcome to george washington university;s lisner auditorium. i am bradley graham along with my wife. first, a word of thanks to gw to make this event possible and thanks to all of you for coming here this evening to hear jose andres talk about his new book, "we fed an island."
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no doubt you remember the headlines about his time in puerto rico. celebrity chef goes to the thestated island in aftermath of hurricane maria, planning to help the recovery by cooking meals but intending to stay only a week or so. instead, he and thousands of from world central kitchen remained for months, preparing and delivering more than 3 million meals to every part of the island. [applause] at one point, they had more than 20 different kitchens turning out more than 150,000 meals a day. this mealnts not only effort. he expounds on a number of
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things he regards as broken, rocha and about the systems and approaches used by fema -- broken about the systems and approaches used by fema, the red cross, organized poorly and wedded to outgoing, top-down model of disaster assistance. story are inspiring and instructive. antidote asan publishers weekly said, to passive and the and cynicism. it is wrote -- passive in the and cynicism. it is relevant today as hurricane florence ravages the southeastern united states, testing the capabilities of the u.s. government and organizations. i ould know we are gathered here this evening on the campus of the university whose public health school finished the
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definitive study [applause] of how many deaths resulted in puerto rico from hurricane maria. ose's own life was amazing, even before what happened in puerto rico. he grew up in spain and came to the united states after serving as a cook on a spanish naval vessel. credited with pioneering spanish tapas in the united states, jose has established more than 30 restaurants and food places around the country offering a wide range of culinary experiences. 2000 11, he received the james beard award for outstanding chef of the year. [applause] earlier, his involvement in haiti cooking in refugee
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camps after the earthquake led him to create the world central kitchen, a nonprofit aimed at developing smart solutions to counter hunger and assist in local communities. the proceeds from "we fed an island" are being donated to the world central kitchen. became as ago, jose u.s. citizen. three years ago he received a national humanities medal from president obama. year, jose was named the james beard humanitarian of the year. [applause] jose will be in conversation ,his evening with tim carmen writing about food for the washington city paper and for the past eight years, for the
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washington post. please join me in welcoming jose andres and tim carmen. [applause] chef andres: i am not cooking. [laughter] i am serious. this has to be the most
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useless job in the world. you're the only person who can do a monologue without needing a moderator. i could say, what is going on and you would still be talking. i do know know, i hope you are reading him because he can write like a god. he is an amazing writer and i'm so proud we have him here in washington at the washington post. thank you. [applause] so, i guess we should start with what is going on in the carolinas. it is in the news. you're are down there, your organization is there. can you give us an update? chef andres: you can follow us ntralkitchen.org.
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we have an amazing team down , who was by nate monk the guy who came first with me to puerto rico. i told him, i'm going and three hours later, he was next to me. nate is the guy who makes everything happen and i take credit for. we are with kitchen is what we do. two kitchens,y one in wilmington. we have three more kitchens because we were waiting for the hurricane to pass by and see if we have open new kitchens or see of those survive the storm. we have been cooking through the hurricane, feeding people from first responders, etc. anywhere fromo do 25,000 meals a day to 100,000.
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we are one organization. we are ready. what i see from the governor to the federal government, fema, the big ngos, the national guard and i want to take this moment to give a round of applause that help fellow citizens. [applause] that is what we are doing. it feels hard in this moment even with this book. it is amazing we have this book talking about the hurricane in the middle of a hurricane. bute is a lot of criticism i hope somebody who reads this will see this as a way forward to see how problems should be transformed into opportunities.
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the reality is we will be ready. trina, was where the federal government fell and maria, we left behind 3.5 million americans and we need to make sure we learned the lessons so this will never happen again. [applause] i have to wonder if the government is learning them, the lessons. fundings like you are all of the work in the carolinas through world central kitchen but you are not working with fema. you have not had any conversations with fema since puerto rico. wondering how much is the government learning about what happened in puerto rico or does not care to learn. chef andres: they care. world central kitchen is a 501(c)(3).
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i'm not funding anything. you are funding everything. thank you. i mean it. we are supported by different people who put one dollar or $1 million. i want to be clear. for thehe most respect people in the federal government, for the people in fema. you'll see in this book, the stories we tell, many of the things that happened were thanks to people of the federal government. sometimes, things happen from the top, things happen at the bottom. department of homeland security, are in thenow they news because they are the bad people separating families. the men and women of homeland security did an amazing job in
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puerto rico. we got people from the navy, i , i was so happy we were working to them and they were volunteering in the kitchens. we got people in the national guard helping us cross rivers to bring food to remote areas. we were getting private centers to give us helicopters to bring food to mountains. we got the army engineers giving us maps so in real time, we knew where we had the kitchens and shelters and communities that needed food. it took a village to do what we did. the first day, we need to remember, we were 20 people. volunteers, an00
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army of 25,000 is strong. we had one kitchen. we opened 26 kitchens. we did 1000 meals a day. we reached 150,000 meals a day. we went to 3.8 million meals a day. it took a village. [applause] one of the things you talk about in the book is this idea of embracing chaos. you talk about it in juxtaposition of dealing with going to headquarters, not being able to get a pass to get in. i would imagine you found chaos wherever you went. there was no electricity, no cell phones, rose were blocked. -- roads were blocked. you found ways to go throughout
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the island and find ways and people and volunteers and distribution systems. all of that was improvised. none of that was on a chalkboard. can you talk about this embracing chaos in the middle of chaos? it is embracing complexity. i think i read that on the harvard review cover. to run life. you follow the recipe and nothing happens as you plant you can do two things, you can complain about how bad the recipe is or how bad your kitchen is. or, you can go and be happy and change the name of the recipe. [laughter]
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[applause] now, in plain english. at the first days, we opened one kitchen. ,f anyone has been to san juan it is an amazing restaurant. [applause] it is amazing because it is an amazing chef that has an amazing family next to him. we began communicating. he knew i was coming but he was not aware of when or if i will arrive. theree arrived, he was with his kitchen staff, ready to do what ever. they were cooking in the back. they could be feeding thousands more.
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we got in the car, we began buying food. do you have money? you pay, business. to we knew we were going gain more food. what do you do in that situation? many people had say, you are brilliant. you are able to get food. what did you do? i went to the biggest booster in the island. i spoke to the owner, it happens he was from the same village i was born. and, he had the ship where i did my military service on the wall of his office. i gave him my card. i fill out a line of credit and
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, i do not the names have a cfo. called my company and said, can you help me fill out the line of credit. in america, when you have a line of credit, do you know what happens? you can get anything. asking me in the , tellingrom big ngos me, how are you able to get the food? you go to the food store, you open a line of credit. they give you the food. day and theynext give you the food again. you send them a check, they are happy and they keep sending you you morethey open
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money because they know you mean business. at the end of the day, the complex city was not so complex. diesel cities, we had no in the restaurant. we ran people. not like other people in power, bribe people. this was vital for us. we had the food tracks to deliver the food. the process began. we needed bread for sandwiches and i remember going to fema and talking to people and saying, why are we talking to bring food from the homeland when we have bakeries on the island? food is the essence to keeping
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an army running. the army marches on it stemming. -- on its stomach. if you have bakeries producing bread, if you give them help, all of a sudden, you hire the people locally, they start producing bread. you can be doing thousands of sandwiches a day. we begin solving little problem by little problem. before we knew, those were becoming opportunities. we embrace complexity with simple solutions. any obstacle, let's transform it into an opportunity. we are going to be able to do more. tim: i think one thing that you point out is the difference between the classic government provisions during a disaster, which is like the mre or can
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goods or things you have to cook yourself. they're useless in the long term in a long-term disaster like puerto rico because, you talk about it, you described mres in a unique way. rations for army shoulders -- soldiers. in post distributed hurricane, post disasters and there is little hot food prepared for the people. it is usually a short-term situation. yours was not. if you are in the military and you had to be on mre's, sorry, guys. it is a smart way in the sense you can buy it and put it in the street, come back 50 years later and it is there.
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the food will be good. that is the human ingenuity. we are able to create things that are amazing. this comes with problems. areou are elderly and you on an mre, this high-protein diet becomes a health issue that can put your life in danger, especially in an emergency. you cannot have 90-year-olds eating mre's. it is not healthy for them. in a republican administration, let's make sure we do not do things that way. when an mre cost between $10 and
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$15, that is a lot of money. those are hundreds of millions that are used in a way that are not effective. you can do the same for a fraction of the cost and in the process, put the local economies up and running. if you had every single puerto rican without a job in more than 10% of the economy runs a restaurant, start restaurants that will be feeding people. that way, you start employing people locally. you start getting better quality food one place at a time. , whenoblem of the mre's you get food like this, maybe you see it on movies, the parachute that comes down in an the field and they drop food and the people come running to pick up the food, if you do that, you do not know what is
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happening. then, you do it one day and you never come back again. that is what people were telling us. they saw people and they dropped the food and never came back. what we were doing at one point, we were having 900 places we were distributing daily food and every time we went to a place, we went back every day until we learned the community was under control. by going, we began learning intelligence. we began learning the people that needed medication, , or a woman that had issues breathing and needed her breathing machine. without electricity, we were putting her life in danger.
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we could bring this woman the generator. by going every day with food, we were not only bringing hope, telling them that the rest of america cared for them. we were gathering information that helped us or others to provide better, smarter help one community at a time. that is why what we did was important. we were there supporting every day for weeks and months. we learned how to help the island. [applause] tim: you got in your own discomfort zone at one point. you were activating kitchens, restaurants, you are getting people involved that you were familiar with or new their skill set.
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at one point, a church approached you and said, our community is hungry. we want to cook. they did not bring it to you because they knew what your answer would be. your answer would be no but they did it the hind your back. i wonder -- it behind your back. i wonder if you would talk about it and what you learned. chef andres: not so much behind my back. at one point, everybody can be making decisions because it was obvious we had to be making decisions on the spot. this was this young woman in california who ran for congress three years ago. she lost. one day, she showed up and became the operations officer of the operation. she is still there almost a year
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later running operations for world central kitchen. the church was nothing. i am catholic. churches are important because they are at the heart of the community. for me, the important thing was kitchens that were clean, professional, to do the best quality food. -- this pastor was so persistent. i give this speech that you need to knock on the door and if the door does not open, knock again. if it does not open again, yell through the window. back i heard my speech before. -- that guy heard my speech before. this was another community in the mountains there were having a hard time getting food.
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.upermarkets were empty electricity was not functioning in parts of the island. there were no restaurants. understand the situation. it is chaos. it was good when we saw people who wanted to gather communities and they were watching what we were doing and they will be smart enough to come to us and say, we want to do the same. reached so many communities and how we were able to feed 150,000 people for many weeks. kitchensny community across the island. he was this pastor who we loved. he would show what a leader is made of. a leader is there not to praise himself but to serve their people.
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[applause] it is i the person versus we the people. i think somebody got the wrong peopled read iv p and they got in the wrong hands and that is what happens. it is we the people. that is that example. i'm sure that happened because he became one of our good stories of management. about what has happened with you personally and world central kitchen since puerto rico. you have been in different disaster zones since then and i'm wondering how you're finding yourow you are balancing
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restaurant life, your personal life, -- chef andres: my wife is here. you are asking me this question now. i thought we were friends. [laughter] embracing complexity. [laughter] it is my wife will embraces complexity. to. married to you, she has chef andres: puerto rico happened because we came from houston. houston was great. , many peopleeople , we were from my team able to do thousands of meals. from kitchens because they kept kicking us out. we found a new kitchen.
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there is a company here, they are one of the biggest food companies in the world. de.y are experts on sous vi we have seen solutions they gave us one million pounds of meat that we took with us down to houston to give it to the red cross, salvation army. i must look like john wayne in the middle of texas bringing cows through the desert. [laughter] we were bringing it in a truck and it is the same, but modern times. [laughter] before that, we have been in many other places. haiti, often. nobody came to see what we were doing but we were not doing for anybody to see it. we were feeding people in need
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in remote areas. this gave me experience. know if washington is aware but some of my favorite people in the world are from the southe baptist church. the southern baptist church has the most amazing network over the last 60 years that, every time there was a tornado or hurricane or anything, the people that will be feeding americans in need, will be the men and women of the southern baptist church. they are the people that inspired me to keep doing what we are doing. those men and women are amazing. [applause] one of the issues where facing in puerto rico -- we are facing in puerto rico and i understand they did not have the game in puerto rico. nobody challenged them to cook.
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it is not their fault. they are in other parts of america. it is an ngo. i watch those men and women in action in southern new york after sunday and they are able to start dating -- start feeding 20,000 people a day like that. tim: they cook out of their own trailers. chef andres: they can do it anywhere. this is amazing. this is some of the great stories of that we are not aware. in the case of puerto rico, it was different. the big ngos that were supposed to be in charge of taking the lead on feeding, the problem was , the problemecided was obvious when you saw they were doing it by committee. when you do things by committee,
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you know what happens? byrybody is in charge and committee means nobody is in charge. we need to have people in charge, people taking responsibility, and people eating. -- people leaving. let's feed as many people as we can today, not a month from now. any american does not deserve anything less. [applause] tim: i wanted to put a reminder out there. in about 10, 15 minutes, we are going to take questions. chef andres: in english? ask, you had to that, may regret is too strong a word, that you wished
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you still had the restaurant in the trump hotel because you would have access to the president and you could talk to him. if you stillonder feel that way. him, do youccess to think you could get through and --k to him or is he just i said that and i mean it. i know i was not supposed to be in puerto rico but we were and we decided to take a leadership role they became bigger. -- that became bigger. we made that decision.
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a 10ld love to give myself but i cannot because we were supposed to feed more people. i feel we failed them because we were supposed to bring more water and more food to more people. maybe those 3000 deaths would be only 1000. i will never know. i know i failed because i saw it. i saw it. directif i had that contact with the present i having my restaurant -- with the president by having my restaurant in trump tower, maybe i would be able to reach more, maybe i would be able to tell but if you do ok not know what to do with the resources, let me have those. if you have the best hospital in the world on the ship, the
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ofgest hospital in front puerto rico and the hospital is empty and the hospital has no lights and the doctors are operating with their lamps on their iphone's, you feel like you are failing because you can say the ship is there but the ship is not being used. our federal, government is the most powerful in the world but somehow, something so simple as bringing people that were sick to the hospital was not happening. we need to realize that this did not happen. we cannot say it did not happen. direct phone with the president because maybe then , i would be able to convey that we did the best the government but that the red tape was not
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allowing them to succeed. ,f he was a man with empathy maybe he will change the rules of the game. sometimes, i was frustrated. i do not want to sound like a smart ass that has an answer to everything. the biggest problems have simple solutions. we had to feed an island. we only were able to feed 150,000 people a day. somehow, i was not empowered to do it. if i had better contacts with the white house, with fema, maybe we were supposed to do more. try to establish those contacts.
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if something like maria happens again in another part of america, we need to make sure we do not failed the people -- failed the people and make sure we do not have 3000 people dying. he was not responsible for the deaths themselves. 51% is empathy and if you do not have empathy, you cannot be the leader. [applause] tim: in the book, you quote president trump saying he gave himself a 10 for his work in puerto rico and you gave yourself a 5. why did you give yourself a 5? chef andres: i wish i was able
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to activate more things. i do not want to sound crazy. did i dream i would be named the of puerto rico at one moment? yes, i thought about it. [laughter] i am talking seriously and you laugh or -- laugh. to be or not to be. at the end, it was not difficult. we had a catering company at the airport that could do 250,000 meals a day. puerto ricans were without jobs and somebody at fema try to do a contract with a catering company of two people in atlanta. it is true we never did anything before with fema.
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the reason i began cooking on game wasd and upped my to prove we had the answers. how do we give that catering company in atlanta $170 million for 30 million meals when they did not deliver 40,000 when we had a catering company they could do 250,000 meals a day with distribution, hiring locals, employing locals, and helping locals. [applause] the island was without jobs. didn't we keep opening more restaurants, one community at a time, taking care of the locals, employing people, and moving the economy forward? why we didn't do that? we could be doing another
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500,000 meals a day. we had the school system. hadsecretary of education schools. every one of those schools had kitchens and women in charge of the kitchens. i saw the secretary try to open as many kitchens as you can and everyone can feed thousands. we had another 250,000 meals a day. with a simple plan, we were feeding one million people a day , no problem, with food, water distribution. hospitals, the electricity, the roads and take care of everything else. for a second, i dreamed i had the plan. toas only able to do up 150,000 a day. i wish i could finish the plan
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that would reach one million people a day where people were dying because they were hungry, thirsty and they did not receive medications or care they deserve. i cannot give myself more than a five because i fell short of my dream. you talkedntract about that was given to the atlantic caterer, i think she went through the bidding process. i talked to fema at the time you were down there and i asked them why they were not giving you a contract. they would give you small, two weeks contracts because they could do that. if it was going to be larger, they had to do it through the bidding process. i am assuming you had this conversation with them about how stupid a competitive bidding process must be. at one moment in
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thatress came the news they went to port -- that jose andres went to puerto rico to get rich. i'm in one of my most emotional moments in my life. l butl powerfu powerless at the same time. newspaper.in the the people were helping us. some people were interested in creating mayhem. that we are talking about a , that takes upt time for weeks, when you have hungry americans going to bed without anything to eat. when you're coming back from
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delivering food on a rainy day and you are sad because people were eating roots and drinking that from dirty rivers and day, coming back to my hotel, i was sad but i had a strange happiness because while they not drinking dirty water, even our animals at home should be drinking, i was feeling happy because the rainwater, they were about to have good, sweet ranking water. when you have to go -- suite drinking water. when you have to go through those moments, shouldn't we have leaders at the white house, at that said redgo's tape is putting the lives of americans in danger. red tape should be changed now.
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urgency israel. we can -- urgency is real. we cannot wait when you have americans going hungry. will any american agree with me that no american should go hungry one more day than necessary? [applause] understand, i believe the people in fema have good hearts but they were handicapped by regulations. i know where the water was. my people know the water in a lot of places. i would tell them, can you give me water so i can deliver because i cannot by the water. we cannot give you the water. it because you are buying all the water. why you don't sell me the water?
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we cannot because we are the government. they had the water and would not give it to us. they would not sell it to us when we had the distribution system. a year later, we find out we had one million cases in an airport. was 14.chool when i i am not very smart. somebody is trying to do the work i'm supposed to do and i'm not able, i know i'm going to be smart enough to say, regulations. the key thing is to change. i hope this administration will take it seriously. i hope the leadership of fema will understand that what happened in maria cannot happen again.
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an organization that has the name emergency or we redefine the meaning of the word or it should be taken off the name. when we talk about food or water, it should be now. period. [applause] we are going to start with questions. lights up. askre we start, i want to one question. chef andres: everybody left. in: i know you were not born this country but you are a citizen. citizen --believe, a i believe you have hinted that you might run for public office.
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i am unprepared. this was a conversation that everyone should have opinions. to count, you have to put yourself if you were the president, the senator, the do withhat would you issues that are important to you? ourselves those questions and come up with answers, it is difficult to understand what we stand for. alwayseverybody should think for a second they are running for office and they need to have the understanding that whatever they stand for as private citizens is what they stand for if they become elected leaders.
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by having that by understanding what we should be expecting from , beers can help us to use more sincere with ourselves, more pragmatic with ourselves, in a moment it seems we have everybody trying to fight with everybody instead of trying to find where pragmatism is, where we can come together even if we disagree. what is the meeting point? i am happy with my wife, my children, my restaurant, books, tv. i have been trying to get into singing but they tell me no. i do believe it is the role of everybody to be involved and it is the role of everyone that if you care for something, do not tell your friends that you care.
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--e sure your voices heard voice is heard and be part of this american country by participating. we need to make sure we participate. [applause] tim: are you ready for questions? chef andres: oh, yeah. tim: where are we taking questions? i think we have microphones up front. if you have a question, walk up to the microphone so we can hear your question. over here. ladies and: is amazing.hil he came to my rescue when we were doing the pbs show :made in
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spain." i am so scared he is on the mic. god bless you for what you rico anditi and puerto for what you're about to do in north carolina. [applause] i know what is in your heart. you talked a lot about what happened and puerto rico. can you tell us how it felt for you to be there and to see the failure of the american government? man, they give the mic to anybody. [laughter] , at times it felt almost
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sad, alone you know, . and i saw turn around happiness and the possibilities. i said that often. it was winston churchill that said success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm. failures of ours, failures of but the enthusiasm kept , we wereand i believe somehow successful. saw i know is that i american puerto ricans that, at
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times, people were saying they were not helping, that they were on strike, that they were taking advantage. i only saw puerto ricans that cared for each other. i saw some of the best america i loved right there. [applause] hope and there were republicans and democrats. nobody was talking about that. there were only people, we the people under one flag helping the each other -- helping each other. i believe now more in america than ever. america is full of wonderful people. that is what i felt. >> i would like to thank you for being here tonight and for everything you have done. what inspired you to become a chef and at what point did you
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decide being a chef is more than about food, it is about humanity? chef andres: i always wanted to be a chef. i saw my mom and my dad, both nurses, feeding us. we never went to restaurants because we could not afford it so i did not know that cooking necessity. a we cooked at home because of necessity. wonderful and if i was french, i would say, we cook at home every night but i'm not french. [laughter] i am spanish. we did it because of necessity. it was wonderful. think reading john steinbeck,
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the pearl on my trip, sailing around the world first time, going to africa, going to ivory seeings when i began there was real arriving to washington was the moment where my partner gave me togethertunity to work . bestounder created the fighting hunger and creating opportunity in the world. [applause] gives me the lay and we help him open there. charity is not about the
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redemption of the giver. it is about the redemption -- charity should be about the liberation of the receiver. food is about feeding the money. >> -- many. [applause] >> high. -- hi. i am checking the events. when i saw that you were going to speak, i thought of one question. in a house, we would do regular supermarket shopping. there, the quality of the food that they had -- it was not terrible but it is definitely not what it should've been. the bread is falling apart before you're able to eat it. you trying to make meet on the
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grill, it falls apart. recovering,still this is what people are having to buy. they have so little money and they are buying such bad quality food. what is your thought on what could be done? it's such a disservice to these people when they are already going through so much. >> yeah. one of the main issues we were facing was that, what we call ,he food stamps in puerto rico puerto ricans that receive federal assistance for food, they receive less dollars per person than they receive any were also in america. even when they pay the same taxes as anywhere else in america. and electricity went off the satellite systems went off, because now they give that money in credit cards, and people didn't have any money, the only
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thing they had was those cards to buy food, if the supermarkets in their area had any food, they couldn't use the cards because the supermarket didn't have any satellite system. even with food, those people will be hungry because they didn't have access to the food stamps money they had on their cards. butw things like this -- then i saw things, of early were somelderly homes of the first people we were helping. it was very simple. hospitals, elderly homes. kitchens ranome all the -- ran on electricity. movecould live down big -- down because the elevators didn't work. i was amazed that we saw that we gave them -- we were giving them, the federal government,
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rice and dried beans. you don't have a kitchen to cook. you don't have water. you give dried beans and dried rice. we need to be having a long conversation to make sure that we are able to provide real solutions to people. so that they can eat the best possible quality food in moments like this. this is not about serving fancy food. platemes serving a good of food is a more complicated thing. re's.mrv is -- m i don't know if that answers your question. that's another answer. [laughter] i have been in washington so
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long, i was a politician. very interesting. [laughter] thank you. thank you very much. viva puerto rico. [applause] >> hola. i am from puerto rico. i was there for that. maria. every day when we had nothing to do, we would do community service. we would take supplies to the mountains. you are an inspiration. i'm getting teary seeing you here. 3:00 in the morning was only time we had signal. i would see your face every day. i'm so happy. [applause]
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now i'm going to ask a really boring local politics question. [laughter] it's a two-parter. how do you feel about our governor's performance following the crisis? >> i can only take on so many battles. yes, washington should become a place where every vote counts and we have representation. keep treating washington like we are a colony. our votes should count. period. they go. let's fight for both at the same time. we need it badly. country thate a
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beats spain. we cannot have a country that fought against colonialism and became what it became to give freedom to america. later, theyuries still have a colony within the system. treating puerto rico like a colony. it doesn't make any sense. [applause] about the governor, this can be political. i think he is a person that works hard. i could see him waking up on twitter, for clock a.m. every day. -- 4:00 a.m. every day. everyday you see him somewhere in the island. on that sense, he was there. with certain decisions, they don't know if he spoke as a
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theynor, the same things spoke before. committee,things by you don't know who was charge so nobody is in charge. mbaeed to be creating an for political leaders. mba on come and do an how to respond to catastrophes like maria so they can use the full power of their government and the federal government to improve the lives of people after hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and others. i know that the water was an handledat was badly between the governor's office and fema. we were never supposed to be bringing one million gallons of water a day to give water to the people of puerto rico when we had more than 100 water plants
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in the island that were supposed be repaired quick so that the people of puerto rico would not be -- now be having water efficiently every day. the electric grid was another one. in charge of fema or the governor? why did it take so long to give the order to put in place the reparation of the electrical grid. we need to learn from these kinds of things. it is not a moment to criticize. but a moment to learn, who was in charge? why did the person in charge fail? was he aware that he was in charge? maybe everybody was trying to see who would pick up the top and make up the final decision. i think that the governor was an active person. things, because he did not know better, maybe because he never managed a
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tragedy like this, or maybe because of total miscommunication between the federal government and the governor's office. certain decisions never happened. that we know so that this will not happen in puerto rico, in new orleans, and carolina now. i think asking those questions is what we should be doing and hopefully getting the answers. foreed this mba on relief governors and politicians and mayors. that is something very important for the future. somebody should be doing it. [applause] >> one of the risk -- i want to be respectful of your time. i know you are headed back to the carolinas. how many more questions would you like to take? >> i will answer quick because i'm losing the audience. [laughter] if they are going to my
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restaurant, it's ok. if you go to other restaurants, it's ok to. too. >> i'll try to be quick. i grew up in puerto rico and i signed up to join the army a while ago. my mom would be here tonight because she's going to spain next -- but she is going to spain next week. blame yourself. every puerto rican and the world will tell you, you did what you could and there is no more you could do. all we can ask is that you tried. don't be yourself up. we love you. which are the puerto rican flag at the oscars. it was amazing. if you had one chance to do would all over again, what is
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the one thing you would do differently? i know, i'm sorry. >> it's a hard one. magazine,t tell time if they were going to put it all over the place, so nobody would be upset at the federal government. but i have a feeling that if i didn't say what i said, they never would've listened to me. i had to do it. so that they would listen to me. that, you know, next time i will not wait for the federal government. i will advocate on my own. i will find out why pay for it
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later. i will be producing a court or million meals a day immediately. -- a quarter million meals a day immediately. >> quick. we are losing the people. >> i will do this fast. this is a boring question. it's a management question. you talked about the complexity of this effort. it involves everything from celebrity chefs to food checks to fire houses. how did you organize that to a cohesive working machine? >> i never use the word cohesive. [laughter] >> from the outside, it looked like that. i still don't know how we did it. , we needed the helicopters. i said, we need the helicopter. ok.
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my team left. three hours later, the helicopter is waiting period i was like, wow. ok. so, what i know is that people are fascinated when you give them a reason and something to work for. girle with his 10-year-old . she was working in one of the food trucks. she was in charge of a line of almost 200 people. she was making ham and cheese sandwiches. to watch this 10-year-old telling almost 200 people, come on, quicker, bread, ham, cheese. if lola was 10 years old and can that is whatf 200, we should be expecting of the president of the united states. [applause]
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>> thank you so much. >> high. . my name is lauren. >> we will probably do two more. we will finish with a big boy over there. sorry. i don't want to have the nightmare of, the theater was empty. i want to go with a happy memory. >> please. >> sorry. i wanted to say thank you for feeding so many people in puerto rico. and everywhere else. i'm from venezuela. you have done so much for the world. but especially for feeding our souls tonight.
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i brought my son with me. he is 13 years old. what would you tell a 13-year-old today? if you could tell yourself that 13 something --, at 13, what would it be? >> all my god. >> what would i tell a 13-year-old today? >> what would be your message? your advice? >> i have my daughters in the audience. they're like, really, they are asking you that question? you, daddy? they are right there. [laughter] what i will tell them, it is always something amazing beyond the horizon. even if what you see you don't like, you think it can be
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improved, just have faith. keep walking towards the horizon. .he sun rises something more beautiful is going to be beyond that horizon. don't despair. keep going. keep walking. eventually you will find what you're looking for. that is what i tell everybody. keep walking towards that horizon of hope. down the way, people will help you to reach it. and then everything is possible that way. >> gracias. deal aboute a great world central kitchen. how can students and private citizens get involved to help in your efforts? >> you are already doing it. i remember when you were able to get here mrs. obama because you have to prove that you could do
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hours of volunteer work. you became the number one university in america in volunteer hours. these communities are already very awesome. it goes both ways. there are plenty of professors here that are super involved in things nationally, internationally. is the this university perfect place to be. everyone of you can have a voice that goes beyond what you ever imagined. your actions by being so close to the white house, i hope all of you will come back and run for office and be here, putting into place the things you have been yearning -- learning at this university. what you do is not different from what i do. i don't go to feed others. i go to learn. we need to keep learning.
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what we learn, we can put into the service of the betterment of the world in the years to come. i think you are doing a lot already. we only need to keep knowing each other, talking to each other, making sure that you keep each other's back. this way we can make anything happen. [applause] >> thank you. >> i think we have a young man looking for a device. >> i'm 12 years old. i'm a boy scout. i was wondering if you could be a device for giving a good leader? advice for being a good leader? you are already showing us what being a good leader is. [applause] not many 12 years old would come in front of an audience like
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this and ask a question. you have answers already in your brain. enoughll you are humble to try to get my answer. why? because you are smart. you are being a leader yourself. is know that being a leader recognizing that you don't know everything. that maybe you need to be listening to everyone around you, that they might know more. [applause] in my also a student question is sort of similar to the last girl who was also a student. it is more about, with limited , i don't and funds have the money to go to puerto rico went help hands-on, is the young peopleit -- to help in this disaster to
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donate money? is there something else or something more that we could be doing? >> listen. this is a good question. money is great. if there is no money, not everybody needs to be doing everything. there are plenty of things in our communities that need help. there are plenty of ways that we can show that we can participate. there's a nonprofit in georgetown that trains veterans in business. they learn business. that is great. it is efficient. americans,ellow giving back after service to our country. there are plenty of other organizations. martha's table. so many others. don't feel bad by saying something is happening and i
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can't participate. we cannot all do everything. don't feel bad about it. i'm sure you are already doing stuff on your round. that is why people like me go there. we go there to support the local community. we cannot all be everywhere. just find what you can do here in your community. you don't realize but you may be changing the lives of many. show up and help ensure what you know to -- and share what you know. you are already showing them respect. this is a way to tell them, you may be homeless, but you are an important part of our community and i respect you. only showing that respect, you don't realize you are changing america. >> thank you. [applause] >> two more. >> this is like a senate
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hearing. [laughter] i'm not going for the supreme court, ok? my question is, in my community, we have so many kids that are crossing the frontier and immigrant families. i wish that we had someone helping those families. this is more like, thank you for what you do and also an invitation. i would love to have you , about the work that you are doing. we are having people talking leaders. you are an inspiration. you are local. i wish that you could do
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something for our kids. lots of immigrant families would love to hear your words. thank you. [applause] >> all right. thank you for what you do. [applause] really quick. wow. thank you for your leadership on this issue. it comes to immigration reform. this is a different issue. let me tell you when we went to guatemala. we fed 400,000. we took care of 15,000 people per day. two meals a day. that's why these organizations are meaningful. by taking care of those what a moment who lost everything from the volcano, what we were actually doing is making sure
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that those people will not leave those communities and come looking for a better life somewhere else. maybe america. imagine for a second that you are a mother or father and your children are hungry. put away your political views. any views. take away your comfort. if you were a father and a mother -- or a mother and your children were hungry, what would you do? you would do anything for them. america, even in with a lot of problems, we are the most powerful country in the history of the world. duty tor destiny and try to fix the problems at home and in the process try to fix the problems overseas. we cannot just build walls. history, i left
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school when i was 14, every civilization that decided to be behind walls was exterminated. where are the romans? where are the greeks? walls don't find solutions. hide my people behind a wall. i believe that my daughters will be safer if i'm able to improve the world that surrounds them. i believe in walls. i believe in walls. president trump believes in walls of exclusion. i believe in walls that build communities. community centers, hospitals. walls that create a better world for all. guatemala, i know lesswe help to have
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undocumented immigrants coming into america. we were investing solutions, not throwing money at the problem. i believe in the betterment of everything oh country around america as a way to a better future. if we want to protect america, let's make sure america is strong. but in the process, let's be generous. was make sure that we try to improve all the communities around the world. we will always have a safer and more prosperous america. that is what i believe. [applause] last question. >> that sounded like a stump speech. >> this was not planned but i am in arlington parent and i fully support your request. seriously. i think that this all comes from a very good heart.
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i want to commend you for a very good heart. heart,th a very good there was a lot of frustration. it is a decision about, who is going to help me churn and two is going to help me execute. how you decide who is going to help you execute on your plan or just churn your plan? >> while. -- wow. >> torn? >> churn. >> like churning ice cream? butter? >> yeah, make it creamier. >> who is going to help you materialize a solution? [applause] go, i'm going to
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give somebody a my team. i have two amazing people in the audience which i knew but i forgot. dory.in is like finding nemo dory. please give me a round of applause for two very special individual. one came from miami, one day after i arrived to puerto rico. they cooked hundreds of thousands of rice and chicken in san juan. stand up. [applause] you know.
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i had who became our operations. the first person who was there next to me, picking up every phone call, opening every door that nobody was able to open. connecting us with the island, she is here. she did an amazing job. please give her around of applause. [applause] now, we are going to do a >> -- cookingto class. the great i was a on dress to
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a the gate -- the great pose -- hose andreas.he great jose [applause] c-span, when her history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme policy eventsic in washington, d.c. and around the country.

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