The Board of Directors of the US Spain Executives Community (USEC) has awarded the 2019 Farragut Award to chef and entrepreneur José Andrés. It was delivered on February 11th, 2019, during a small private ceremony at the residence of the Ambassador of Spain to the USA.
The USEC Farragut Award is given periodically to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the relations between Spain and the US. The prize is inspired by the legacy of the Farragut family: Jordi (George), born on the island of Menorca, and his son David. Jordi fought for freedom in the US War of Independence. David became the first Admiral of the US Navy for his work and commitment to the new nation.
The tireless work of José Andrés, as a Spanish resident in Washington DC for more than 25 years, has contributed greatly to improving the image and recognition of Spain in the US. After the success of its restaurants, it quickly achieved an important media presence through books and television programs that promoted as never before the Spanish cuisine on this side of the pond.
Fully integrated in the US society, without losing an inch of his Spanish roots, he has become a leader admired by the Hispanic community with actions of great social impact as demonstrated in Puerto Rico with his organization World Central Kitchen, which served almost 4 million meals in the first few months after hurricane Maria in 2017. New projects such as Mercado Little Spain, which will soon bring the food, drink and culture from Spain to the Hudson Yards of New York, will further deepen his footprint in this nation. He has received numerous awards and has recently been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
José Andrés had the generosity of being the star of the first USEC event held at the Embassy of Spain 4 years ago, which was a very important boost for the start of our organization.
In times of division like those suffered by Spain at the moment, we believe it is especially important to highlight everything that unites us and reaffirm our identity. For this, nothing better than recognizing and appreciating the work of people who have become models in our community.
For all this, it is an immense honor for USEC to deliver this Farragut 2019 Award to José Andrés.
Gonzalo García, President of USEC, reading the delivery speech of the Farragut Award to José Andrés, in the presence of Ambassador Santiago Cabanas and Martin Gurría, Member of the Board of Directors of USEC.