José Andrés is a native of Spain and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup, the team responsible for Washington’s popular and award-winning dining concepts Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel, Café Atlantico and the critically-acclaimed minibar by josé andrés, as well as Los Angeles’ exciting destination, The Bazaar by José Andrés, part of the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills. ThinkFoodGroup oversees all of José’s creative endeavors such as cookbooks, television programming, concept consulting and project development.José is credited with introducing Americans to both avant-garde and traditional Spanish cooking. Born in the northern region of Asturias and raised outside of Barcelona, José chose cooking as his life’s work at the age of 15. He attended the School of Restaurants and Hotels of Barcelona and trained in Michelin-starred restaurants including El Bulli with world-renowned Master Chef and friend Ferran Adrià. He made his way to the U.S. and then to DC to work with Rob Wilder and Roberto Alvarez’s Proximo restaurants. Heading up the kitchen at Jaleo, he helped create one of the first critically and commercially successful tapas restaurants in the country, setting the standard for other Spanish restaurants for the next 15 years. José next took over the kitchen at Café Atlantico, a popular DC hangout, transforming it into one of the city’s most exciting dining destinations. Zaytinya followed soon after and then Oyamel. With the opening of his innovative minibar by josé andrés, Food & Wine hailed José as the “hero of the Spanish revolution,” who “helped create the Spanish food boom in America.” And the New York Times called him “the boy wonder of culinary Washington.” In 2006, José and Rob transformed Proximo restaurants into ThinkFoodGroup.
Throughout his career, José has drawn the praise of the public, the press and his peers for his vision, imagination and winning restaurant concepts. The James Beard Foundation recognized him with the award for “Best Chef: Mid Atlantic” in 2003, inducted him into the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America in 2007, and nominated him for “Outstanding Chef” in 2008, 2009 and 2010 for his work at minibar.
Often referred to as Spain’s unofficial ambassador to the United States, José is host and executive producer of the PBS television series Made in Spain, a culinary journey of his homeland. He has authored several cookbooks including the companion to the PBS series, Made in Spain: Spanish Dishes for the American Kitchen and Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America. José is also a television star in Spain, where his production “Vamos a Cocinar” on Televisión Española (TVE) was the country’s most popular cooking program, revolutionizing food television in Spain. It now airs across Latin America on the Casa Club cable channel.
José regularly appears on television and radio with spots on NBC’s “Today”, “Martha Stewart Show”, CBS’s “Early Show”, ABC’s “Nightline”, NPR’s “Splendid Table” and “All Things Considered”, Food Network’s “Iron Chef”, Bravo’s “Top Chef” and Tony Bourdain’s “No Reservations.” He has appeared alongside late night hosts David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and Craig Ferguson. The Bravo Network awarded him the prize for A-List chef at their first ever Bravo A-List Awards in 2008. He is also a favorite feature of the food and business press, appearing in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, Gourmet, USA Today, Taste of Home, People and People en Espanol. In 2004, Bon Appétit magazine named José “Chef of the Year”, Food & Wine included José in their “35 under 35” Tastemakers list, and Saveur included José on their “Saveur 100” list.
José is Chairman Emeritus for DC Central Kitchen, a cause close to his heart that combats hunger and creates opportunities with culinary training. He was also recently tapped by the Secretary of Commerce to serve on the US Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. He lives in Maryland with his wife and three daughters.