Just a few hours after rioters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen (WCK) was on the scene in Washington, D.C.
The charitable organization sprung into action to feed first responders when D.C. restaurants were forced to close at 6 p.m. when Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a 12-hour curfew for all non-essential workers. Among those responders in need and receiving meals were D.C. Metropolitan Police Department officers, members of the National Guard and Department of Public Works employees. According to Andrés, some had worked nonstop for more than 30 hours, either defending the city or cleaning up after the chaos.
Andrés got to work around 10 p.m. that night, picking up 120 pizzas from a Domino’s in Bethesda, Md., to bring back to the city and deliver to those in need. “Hopefully, on a very strange, complicated night, we’re going to make sure that those young men and women, often forgotten, can be taken care of,” Andrés said in a video posted to Twitter from outside the pizza shop.
Once the pizzas ran out, Andrés and his team headed to his flagship Jaleo location, where they used the kitchen to churn out hundreds of donated meals such as hot stews, pasta and fried-egg sandwiches. The operation ran into the early hours of Thursday, Jan. 7, with Andrés sharing another dispatch on Twitter at 1 a.m. “I know it’s a lot of controversies and everything, but we feed people. We feed anybody and everybody. And we activate when there is need,” he said in the video. He checked in again just after 3 a.m. to report that WCK had delivered its last meals of the night. In total, they’d donated 700 meals on Wednesday, followed by another 900 the next day.
I don’t know what else to do right now...so we @WCKitchen just started cooking. Pizzas weren’t enough for everyone...many have been working over 30 hours nonstop. So we turned Jaleo into WCK kitchen cooking 100s of hot stews on this cold night...plus fried egg sandwiches & fruit! pic.twitter.com/OM1dxEdwlp— Please wear a mask! Do it for the World please... (@chefjoseandres) January 7, 2021
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