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A recipe for resilience: Chef Andrés, artist Kristina Wong stir conversations on food security

Join them at the Celebration for Resilience on Nov. 8 at ASU Gammage


Portraits of chef José Andrés and ASU Gammage Artist in Residence Kristina Wong.

Chef José Andrés and ASU Gammage Artist in Residence Kristina Wong

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November 03, 2023

Arizona State University’s Knowledge Exchange for Resilience — a collaborative network championing community resilience in Maricopa County — has announced it will host the 2023 Celebration for Resilience to recognize and honor this year’s Resilience Fellows on Nov. 8 at ASU Gammage.

These fellows lead vital initiatives ranging from heat-resilience strategies to data-driven mobile food pantry outreach, urban agriculture and more.

Highlighting the evening will be a conversation between two influential figures: globally recognized chef and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Chef José Andrés and ASU Gammage Artist-in-Residence Kristina Wong. Together, they will tackle pressing themes of food security and its role in fortifying community resilience.

Andrés, an immigrant who arrived in New York City at the age of 21 with barely $50, has grown to become a culinary icon and an ambassador for humanitarian efforts. His responsive actions during the COVID-19 pandemic involved strategic partnerships with numerous entities, from restaurants to farms, combating food insecurity. Reflecting on the devastations like the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Andrés founded World Central Kitchen. He advocates for the transformative power of food and underscores the importance of adaptability in disaster-relief scenarios. His perspective harmonizes with the Knowledge Exchange for Resilience's vision for Maricopa County — one that emphasizes proactive planning and resilience-building.

Wong is excited to join in a thoughtful discussion with Andrés about food insecurity and how planning ahead for these disruptions utilizing resilience strategies can create change.

“In a moment of crisis, how can you bring people together?” Wong said. “The systems of distribution don’t get to everybody; it’s not one person bringing a community together. You give, you lead, you work together. It’s about what’s comforting to people and serving them. We’ll be in conversation about this. Andrés been at this for much longer than I have.”

Andrés believes that "the only way to have a better world and end poverty is by closing the gap between the top and the bottom."

"The right use of food can end hunger," he said. "All of the food farmers grow, restaurants cook and people eat, it starts with hardworking farmworkers in the fields — many of them immigrants. Ensuring America’s food security should be bipartisan.”

"Having Chef Andrés share insights from his work with World Central Kitchen is a testament to the transformative power of food," said Elizabeth Wentz, director of the Knowledge Exchange for Resilience. "We believe his message will spark positive change and inspire proactive resilience-building in communities."

The event will culminate in the announcement of this year’s Resilience Prize winner. This award recognizes a group or organization in Arizona that has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to building community resilience through data, partnerships and systems change.

Registration for this event starts at $25 and is open to the public. Get tickets at asugammage.com.

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