Jose Andres Named Best Chef in U.S.

A local chef has brought the Oscars of the food world to D.C.

Chef Jose Andres, 41, who runs D.C. eateries Jaleo, Oyamel, minibar, and a flock of others, was named the nation's most outstanding chef by the James Beard Foundation on Monday.

In addition to managing restaurants, Andres has been an advocate for better school lunch standards, fighting childhood obesity, and ending hunger.

"Food is the most powerful thing we have in our hands," Andres said, accepting his reward at a ceremony in New York City.  "We have the responsibility to make sure that not only our great nation, but the world will always be using food in the right way."

James Beard, the award's namesake and a founding father of American cuisine, envisioned a contest to reward chefs who represented the best in American cooking, "the Ultimate Melting Pot."  Chefs nominated for the top award combine international tradition and an American sensibility.

Originally from northern Spain, Andres is widely credited for making Spanish tapas, small, hot or cold snack-sized dishes, popular in the United States.  Locally, Andres has been involved in a variety of public service efforts.  He sits as chairman emeritus for DC Central Kitchen, a non-profit that fights hunger.  He also hosts a show on public television, called "Made in Spain."

Andreas lives in Maryland with his wife and three children.

For a full list of the winners at the James Beard awards, check out the Feast.

Watch Chef Jose Andres in a recent Today Show appearance:

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Copyright AP - Associated Press
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