This morning José Andrés, long someone I've hoped would be a Food Channel contributor, has given us the first of many strong pieces with his call for support of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, "the most important piece of legislation that no one has ever heard of."
José isn't just a big-hearted chef who cares about school lunch—a group of which there is happily an ever-increasing number. He's right in the middle of Washington, and the rare chef who not only has a national reputation and visibility but is in a position to press for change using soft power—after all, his Minibar is, Zeke thinks, the best restaurant in Washington.
And José is an endlessly active chef with an endlessly active mind, as I've had the chance to observe this week. He's been at Harvard translating for Ferran Adria in the debut of the School of Engineering and Applied Science's fall course on science and cooking, a course I'm keeping close tabs on and will have a lot more to say about. So will José, who'll be back up here soon.
He'll have a lot more to say on the other projects he's working on, which are as varied and far-ranging as, well, any chef with a base in Washington, a wildly popular restaurant in Los Angeles (The Bazaar by José Andrés), new restaurants on the way, constant loyalty and attention to his native country (Spain) would have. Plus equally ambitious humanitarian projects he'll be telling us about here, starting with his longtime work as a leader of DC Central Kitchen, his recent work in Haiti, and going on from there.
Today José points out that the current child-nutrition bill expires at the end of this month, and (as I've pointed out) the pre-summer recess robbing of the food-stamp program to help fund teachers' salaries is not the way to advance school food. José is mad, and right to be. He hopes that
when the House comes back to D.C. from summer break, I hope they will have the brains to find the money quickly and pass their bill so we can begin the new school year with a new promise to our kids, based on a REAL investment.
It's a great thought to carry us into the new year—whether we're thinking of the new school year or 5117.
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