Chef José Andrés: ‘Over 50 Percent of Our Food Should Be Fruits and Vegetables’

The chef urges Americans to consider the benefits of a more meatless world

José Andrés wants to change the way Americans think about food.

Washington, D.C.-based chef José Andrés is one of several prominent chefs who are leading the push for a more meatless world, even for devout carnivores. His latest restaurant concept is Beefsteak, a vegetable-heavy version of fast-casual that he calls “fast good.”

The first location opened recently at George Washington University, where Andrés was the 2014 commencement speaker, and will soon expand to a second location in Dupont Circle.

"We need to change the way we are treating food in America,” Andrés told the Montreal Gazette.

The chef, whose company ThinkFoodGroup works on projects to reduce food waste and, most recently, change the options on children’s menus, is also known for working with the Roots Conference, a yearly gathering of forward-thinking figures in food who are committed to improving American methods of agriculture and ideas about food in general.

At a recent meeting of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), the chef told the audience, “Over 50 percent of our food should be fruits and vegetables.” At Beefsteak, Andrés is aiming for a 99 percent vegetable-focused menu.


As for his children’s menu project, the chef is looking to work with the U.S. education system to enforce widespread change. “It’s time to get rid of greasy food and chicken fingers,” the chef says, in favor of “a smaller portion of beautiful food.”