President's Blog

Bienvenido a Mason, Chef José Andrés!


I’m thrilled to welcome to the Freedom and Learning Forum chef José Andrés, a world-renowned culinary innovator, social entrepreneur, author, educator, television personality, and humanitarian who has a vision to nourish bodies and souls around the globe.

Our university aspires to graduate well-rounded scholars and engaged citizens who are prepared to make a positive contribution in the world, and there is no greater example than José. Please join me for this conversation from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7 in the Hub Ballroom on the Fairfax Campus. The event is free, and you can RSVP here.

I’m proud to call José, a fellow Spaniard, a friend, and I’ve had the great pleasure of dining in several of his restaurants. The food, of course, is out of this world. But what impresses me most about José is how firmly planted he is in the world. His World Central Kitchen and ThinkFoodGroup work to make nutritious food accessible to as many people as possible and to use the power of food to innovate and educate communities.

A recipient of a 2014 Outstanding American by Choice award from President Barack Obama, José also is deeply involved in immigration advocacy. In 2012, Time magazine named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people, pointing out that you are just as likely to find José introducing a solar-powered cook stove in Haiti as you are to find him lecturing at Harvard.

The Freedom and Learning Forum provides a wonderful opportunity for Mason students, faculty, and staff to hear an inspiring story and engage José about how he turned his creativity and passion into action. José will be a particular hit with Mason community members involved in the many entrepreneurial activities and incubators on our campuses.