Cometh the hour, cometh the man. With Texas in the grip of a perilously cold storm, and with millions in the state without power and water, José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen is partnering with local restaurants to feed desperate Houstonians.
World Central Kitchen rolled into Houston in the middle of a severe cold snap to team up with Houston barbecue Burns Original BBQ to get 700 smoked-meat sandwiches to residents living in senior-living homes without power.
Even though restaurants have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic over the last year, local spots, including Thai restaurant Street to Kitchen and Korean fried-chicken restaurant Seoulside Wings, came together with WCK to provide hot food for needy Texans. Over 2000 much-needed meals were served to locals unable to cook at home due to power outages.
Severe weather is affecting over 100 million Americans, and snow continues to fall in the hardest-hit areas of Texas. While power has been restored to millions in Texas, nearly half of residents, around 13 million, don't have access to clean, running water.
In the city of Kyle, officials said water should "only be used to sustain life at this point".
In Houston, America's fourth-largest city, there are long lines for food, gas and supplies, and local independent restaurants have been mobilising to feed people before being joined by WCK.
World Central Kitchen has helped out in Texas before. In 2017, Andrés and his team landed in Huston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and after Hurricane Laura in 2020.
The Spanish-American chef has been announced as this year's winner for his global humanitarian relief efforts with World Central Kitchen. See the list of ten other special mention chefs also using gastronomy for positive change.