At SXSW 2018, award-winning chefs and TV personalities José Andrés and Andrew Zimmern sat down for a conversation with Food & Wine Editor-in-Chief Dana Cowin. In their Featured Session, Changing the World Through Food, Andrés and Zimmern discuss the power of action, the crossover between politics and the kitchen, and the importance of cultural sensitivity.
On-stage, the two outspoken chefs trade stories, tell jokes, and deliver valuable insights about food, community, and helping others.
“I’ve never seen a better way to communicate with other people than to serve them a bowl of food or have them serve you a bowl of food and receive it. As I travel around the world, I reverse what my whole life had been out about. As the receiver, you allow somebody the privilege of giving – and if it’s somebody who doesn’t have much, by receiving it you are giving them dignity and respect.” -Zimmern
Named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” and “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation, José Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, author, educator, television personality, humanitarian and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup.
A close friend of Andrés, Andrew Zimmern brings an entirely different perspective to the table. During their session, Zimmern describes his struggle with addiction and experience being homeless. He shares stories about his journey and the path that led him to the kitchen and on-screen as the host of the Travel Channel series Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.
While they come from different backgrounds, the two chefs are united by a common goal of creating positive change in the world through their food.
Andrés emerged as a leader in disaster relief efforts on the frontlines of the destruction after Hurricane Maria. He organized a grass-roots movement of chefs and volunteers and went from serving 1,000 meals to 3.4 million meals and from 20 volunteers to 20,000.
“Don’t think and start cooking. One plate at a time, we fed the many.” – Andrés
Both Andrés and Zimmern are firm believers in the power of action and use their platforms for advocacy.
“I don’t believe in political solutions. I believe in civic solutions. In America of the 21st century… it’s no longer an embarrassment that children are hungry, it is criminal.” – Zimmern
Watch the video above for the full Featured Session at the 2018 SXSW Conference. Browse more 2018 Keynotes, Featured Sessions, Red Carpets, and Q&A’s on our YouTube Channel.
Photo by Luis Bustos