Chef José Andrés Wants the Biden Administration to Appoint a Food Czar

Andrés has been advocating for the position for months.

Celeb-chef-slash-philanthropist-extraordinaire José Andrés has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic—feeding staffers at COVID-19 testing sites, hospital workers, and passengers aboard a virus-ridden cruise ship last spring. And the World Central Kitchen founder's efforts hardly end there. In fact, Andrés is urging President-elect Joe Biden to appoint a Food Czar to his National Security Council. 

In a Washington Post op-ed published at the onset of coronavirus concern, the restauranteur vocalized his stance on a secretary of food and how the role would lend itself to a better America—one without excessive food bank lines and with improved resources for feeding the hungry. With Biden set to take office in January, Andrés has remained firm. 

"We need to understand one thing: that food is more than the USDA," he told Yahoo News earlier this week. "Food is more than just all of the mechanics of a smart agricultural system. Food is immigration. Food is health. Food is national security. Food is job creation. Food is economic growth."

Though Yahoo News reports that Andrés is comfortable with Biden's pick for Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, he sees a separate need for the Food Czar. Someone to consult the president food issues and ensure nothing "falls between the cracks." 

"I’m only as good as the people I have around me. And I know that President Biden, Vice President Harris will only be as good as the people they will have around them," he said. “I know any American should be there providing support and help to this administration." 

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.