Articles / José Andrés Needs No Introduction

José Andrés Needs No Introduction

Published September 28, 2021

I talked to the do-gooder about how he ate growing up, his pivot from full-time chef to well-known humanitarian, and how the pandemic has changed him

“Behind every plate of food is a story. All together we must make sure that all the stories behind every plate of food are good stories.”

This week’s episode of Food with Mark Bittman features the fearless José Andrés, who I’m really proud to call a friend. José and I have known each other for more than 20 years; I met him when he was a protege of Ferran Adria, the chef behind El Bulli, which for years was considered the best restaurant in the world.

José came to the States as a young man, worked his way up through restaurants, opened his own restaurant, Jaleo in DC — which is still there — and now has many of them. He’s done a wonderful job of bringing Mediterranean food to the States, but he also founded World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that brings food to people in the wake of natural disasters and does the work that FEMA often does inadequately. If there’s an earthquake, if there’s a deadly hurricane, José’s team, and often José himself, are all right there, providing tens of thousands — and often more — meals. José has won a zillion awards not only for his cooking but his humanitarian work — he was even named a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. I’m happy to have him on the show.

The recipes — both José’s — featured in the episode are below. Please listen, subscribe, and review! And remember to call us on 833-FOODPOD with all your food-related questions.

Thank you, as always. — Mark

José Andrés’s Santorini Lentils (Yellow Split Peas)

Photo: Getty Images

Red Sangria

Serves 6
Time: 15 minutes, plus 2 hours marinating time

Bolder and stronger than José’s white sangria, but equally refreshing.


  • 2/3 bottle (about 2 cups) red wine

  • 2/3 cup cut fruit, like oranges and apples, plus extra for garnish

  • 1 shot (2 ounces) vodka, or more to taste

  • 1 shot (2 ounces) brandy, Grand Marnier, or more to taste

  • 1 shot (2 ounces) fresh orange juice

  • Splash Rose’s lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon sugar, or more to taste

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • Ice

  • Splash Sprite


1. Combine the wine, fruit, vodka, brandy, juices, sugar, and cinnamon stick in a pitcher and let macerate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

2. Add ice to fill the pitcher, the splash of Sprite, and more sugar or spirits to taste. Serve in glasses garnished with additional cut fruit, if desired.

Recipe from How to Cook Everything: Bittman Takes on America’s Chefs