chef Andrés rocks the vote

Celebrity chef makes all-star trip to Houston to cheer on local voters

Celebrity chef makes all-star trip to Houston to cheer on local voters

Jose Andres Hugo Ortega Xochi
Chefs José Andrés and Hugo Ortega. Courtesy of H-Town Restaurant Group

Whatever the outcome to the November 3 elections, at least some Houstonians will be well fed while they wait for their turn to vote. World Central Kitchen, a charity founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, has been feeding people during the early voting period and will continue that effort on Election Day. 

The organization has partnered with over 16 local restaurants and food trucks, including Burns Original BBQ, Mastrantos, and Feges BBQ to distribute meals to voters at select polling places across the Houston area. Andrés spent Friday in Houston to observe the organization at work. He sent a number of updates from Houston to his 930,000 Twitter followers.



For dinner, Andrés visited Xochi, James Beard Award winning chef Hugo Ortega's Oaxacan restaurant in downtown's Marriott Marquis hotel. In a tweet, the chef praised Xochi's efforts to observe protocols that help limit the spread of COVID-19. 

In an email, Ortega tells CultureMap that Andrés dined on Taco de Cachete de Res en Huaxmole Rojo, Aguachile de Camaron, and Ceviche de Robalo. The visitor also took in Xochi's display for Dia de los Muertos.

"He and I sat together after his meal and talked about his work and humanitarian efforts," Ortega writes. "He gifted me with a World Central Kitchen pin, a cool logo that shows the world in the shape of a skillet – very clever!  In addition to being an amazing chef, he is so friendly and approachable and a true role model.”  

Andrés is no stranger to the Bayou City. World Central Kitchen contributed to relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey. The superstar chef also embarked on a mini culinary tour of Houston after speaking engagement in 2018.