Ron Howard Teams With Nat Geo on Doc About Chef José Andrés

Courtesy of National Geographic Documentary Film
Jose Andres

Brian Grazer is producing the film about the world-renowned chef and humanitarian and his crisis-focused nonprofit, World Central Kitchen.

Following their collaboration on Sundance doc Rebuilding Paradise, National Geographic Documentary Films is teaming with director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer on a film about world-renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés.

The untitled documentary will focus on Andrés' work with his nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, which helps communities reeling from disaster by providing healthy food to those affected.

As one of the world’s most prominent food-focused first responders, Andrés and the World Central Kitchen team have snapped into action, combating hunger in the wake of crisis by serving more than 16 million meals to date. Most recently, the organization has mobilized to bring nourishment to those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, delivering meals to quarantined cruise ship passengers, school children, medical professionals, the elderly and the most vulnerable through the #ChefsforAmerica program, which is now serving more than 100,000 meals a day across the United States and in Spain.

Featuring exclusive access to World Central Kitchen’s initiatives and archives, the doc will follow Andrés and his team around the globe as they address the increasing environmental and humanitarian crises the best way they know how: through food. The film will take an in-depth look at World Central Kitchen’s collaborations with local chefs to feed affected people and first responders. From the front lines of a crisis to the backrooms of the kitchen, the film will examine the restoration of community and the activation of change, one meal at a time.

“Serving people a plate of fresh food after a disaster is more than just about calories to fill them up. A hot meal is comfort, dignity, hope — a sign that someone cares and that tomorrow will be better,” said Andrés. “From Puerto Rico to the Bahamas to Mozambique, I’ve seen how important quick action and constant adaptation are to reach communities in need with the urgency of now.”

Added Howard: “When we first started shooting Rebuilding Paradise, I was amazed to see the immediate impact that José and the World Central Kitchen team had on the citizens of Paradise, California, in the aftermath of the crippling fires that destroyed their town. And now, following him as he helps those most in need during this pandemic, I realized that the work he’s doing around the world is one of the most critical and oftentimes overlooked necessities in disaster relief.”

Grazer and Howard will produce through their Imagine Documentaries alongside Sara Bernstein and Justin Wilkes. The film will be executive produced by Imagine Entertainment’s Michael Rosenberg and Louisa Velis, World Central Kitchen’s Nate Mook and Richard Wolffe and National Geographic Documentary Films’ Carolyn Bernstein and Ryan Harrington.

“We are delighted to continue our successful partnership with Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and the ferociously talented team at Imagine Documentaries, who share our passion for impactful and authentic storytelling,” said Bernstein, executive vp global scripted content and documentary films for National Geographic.