Fabada for the Capitol troops

  • The Spanish cook José Andrés brings food to the National Guard that is guarding Washington before the inauguration of Biden

It is almost impossible to find an open cafeteria in the cold and cordoned off Washington DC, but the National Guard stationed on Capitol Hill and highlighted by the rest of the city to prevent possible riots yesterday ate a freshly prepared stew, “something similar to a fabada” thanks to the team of Jose Andres, the Spanish chef and activist based in the federal capital, who has also proposed to help feed the military who ensure freedom and order in these days prior to the inauguration of the legislature.

Next Wednesday, Democrat Joe Biden will take office as the 46th president of the United States and more than 20,000 soldiers (more than the United States has deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan), joined by thousands of police officers, officers Federal and highway control agents, take endless shifts and sleep on the marbles of the building that on January 6 was attacked by followers of the still President Trump. They are trained for that and for much more, but a good plate of food is always appreciated, as some of them have made known on their social networks.

The operation is centralized in Jaleo, the Spanish-inspired tapas restaurant that José Andrés opened in 1993. Inside, workers from World Central Kitchen (@WCKitchen), the humanitarian organization set up by the Asturian chef in 2010, prepare meals and receive donations like the one from the Dog Tag Bakery in Georgetown, which left behind a shipment of boxes of cookies that was used to make desserts.

World Central Kitchen Executive Director Nate Mook explains that when he and José Andrés saw viral images of the sleeping troops they felt they had to do something. That’s how it went. The initiative was seconded by the president of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who yesterday joined the Mierense cook to distribute the food.

Pelosi shared two photos on her Twitter account in which she appears distributing food and posing with part of the troops and the Asturian chef. “Wherever there is a fight in which hungry people can eat, we will be there, we must be there”, is the motto of WCK, which has also traveled to Spain on the occasion of the coronavirus pandemic, and to lend a hand these last days to those affected by the passing of the snowstorm “Filomena”.

The menu of the US military is designed so that they can eat without too much difficulty, and also that it is healthy and tasty. It consists of a roast beef sandwich, sun-dried tomato with basil aioli, a hot plate of chicken stew and a vegetarian version with vegetables and beans, the stew that Andrés compared to the fabada that he likes to taste and prepare so much.

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In 2020 José Andrés especially turned to those most in need. This work that has earned him the candidacy of the magazine “Time” for character of the year, the only Spanish named to date by the publication.

Last March, with a chef’s jacket, a saucepan and a ladle, he starred on the cover of the prestigious publication and shared his desire to feed the world during the pandemic. On two occasions, the two Michelin-starred chef was included in the “Time” list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Finally, the magazine considered that the characters of the year have been Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The appointment of José Andrés, who on numerous occasions has shown his disagreement with the policies of the Trump Administration, will not have displeased. Andrés also has the collaboration of the Archewell Foundation, sponsored by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Dukes of Sussex.

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