I see you had Thanksgiving in Puerto
Rico. [Hurricane Maria hit the island
on Sept. 20, 2017; the family traveled there that November.]
Patricia: We all went. And [in 2018, after
the Paradise, California, wildfire] two of
my daughters and José went to California for ;anksgiving. Ines had surgery,
she had her tonsils and adenoids out. We
stayed here, and the three of them went.
Can you share any details about
your trip to Puerto Rico after the
Patricia: It was an amazing trip. It was
very intense, physically and emotionally.
But also it was very eye-opening for us.
By then, José had spent two months in
Puerto Rico. We could put faces to all
the names and stories José was telling us
about. Preparing [;anksgiving] dinner
and delivering it, and then sharing
dinner that night with a lot of volunteers,
it looked like a wedding, with maybe 10
or 20 long, long tables with people who
came from di;erent parts of Puerto
Rico. People got to share their stories.
We were crying the rest of the night. I
realized at that moment how the work
that World Central Kitchen had done
was not only feeding people, but by
having all these Puerto Ricans volunteer
and help themselves it created a strong
community, it empowered them, it gave
Do your daughters embrace all of this?
Patricia: Yes, they have grown up knowing that it’s very important to give back.
When we decided on the schools they
went to, it was with a purpose. [;e
Woods Academy and Stone Ridge] are
both schools that embrace values and
I feel like Bethesda is an intense
place to raise children.
José: You mean, competition of who you
are? Yes, we are very conscious of that.
I don’t blame Chevy Chase or Bethesda.
;at’s humanity, meaning you need to
show that ‘more is more.’
Patricia: We are lucky to live where we
live…it o;ers many options and opportunities in terms of schools, sports,
outdoor spaces, museums. …I remind
my kids that with opportunities come
responsibilities, so they have to be aware
of that. ;ey should take advantage of it
and enjoy it, but be smart, conscious and
How have your lives changed since
you’ve become so well known?
José: We’re known, but we are just one
more family. I’m one more guy.
Patricia: I don’t see changes. I actually
feel like there are more responsibilities.
Do people recognize you on the
streets of Bethesda, or when you’re
walking around elsewhere? Is that
José: One of the reasons maybe we don’t
go out so often—because me, I like to
eat—is sometimes a little bit that. Yes,
[privacy] has become a little bit more of
an issue over time. But again, we are like
any other family with [the] same dreams,
and the same…
José: And the same issues.
Did you see this coming with
José—how involved he would get in
all these social and disaster relief
Patricia: With José, you never know
what is coming. You have to be open to
whatever comes. It’s really fun, interest-
ing, exhausting. He’s always thinking
outside the box. He has so much energy,
but we don’t. My girls and I are human—
and he’s not. We get tired. He has a great
team at World Central Kitchen, but what
is great is that José has the leadership to
move a lot of people. He gets these crazy
ideas that no one thinks [are] going to
go anywhere. But we can all get together
and do great things. His capacity is that
he can do so many things at the same
time. Most of the time that’s said about
women. In my marriage, it’s the oppo-
site. José is the one who multitasks. I can
only do one thing.
Tell me what your typical day is like.
Patricia: ;ere is no really typical day.
We just try to get some time together.
We also love to have friends over.
So your schedules are probably
Patricia: I’m more flexible. José has, who
knows what he has tomorrow?
Do you know, José?
Patricia: He checks his calendar once in
a while, and thank goodness you have
Satchel [his assistant], who reminds you.
What did you do today? I know you
were at America Eats Tavern [in
D.C.] this morning.
José: Yes, running the restaurant, making
decisions, looking for ways to improve it.
So what else do you have today?
José: More restaurants. Today I’m going
to speak to the [D.C.] mayor [Muriel
Bowser] and all her team, about life I
Patricia: ;en you have a presentation
for the book.
José: Today? I do?
Patricia: Yes. n
Contributing editor Carole Sugarman is
a longtime food writer and former Washington Post reporter who first wrote about
José Andrés more than 20 years ago. ;e
Bethesda Interview is edited for length