José Andrés Has Opened a Seafood Restaurant That Benefits Abandoned Children in Haiti
Chef José Andrés (minibar, Jaleo) is not just known for his innovative small-plates cuisine; he is also credited for his humanitarian efforts through his nonprofit organization World Central Kitchen. Initiating partnerships with other renowned chefs and nonprofits, Andrés and his organization help to bring hunger and poverty solutions to underdeveloped nations. World Central Kitchen’s latest project is the opening of a new seafood restaurant, Pwason Beni (which roughly translates to “Good Fish”) in Haiti on the grounds of a fish-breeding farm and home for abandoned children run by Operation Blessing. Proceeds from the restaurant will benefit the children of Zanmi Beni, which provides a home for abandoned children with disabilities.
"Pwason Beni is one of my favorite projects in Haiti. It’s actual proof of how food can lead to sustainable solutions and create a new path in life for so many people,” chef José Andrés told The Daily Meal. “We serve some of the best fried fish sandwiches I’ve ever tasted, and I love how it works with our other projects and friends in the area, using fresh bread from the Boulanjri Bakery next door and delicious ingredients grown from the orphanage Zanmi Beni’s farm. "
The partnership between chef Andrés and Zanmi Beni began when he was touring the property shortly after establishing World Central Kitchen following the devastating 2010 earthquake. He first planned a bakery for the campus of the children’s home; which is now used to bake fresh bread — approximately 800 rolls every day — for the children, and for the fish sandwiches sold at the new restaurant. During one trip, chef Andrés noticed cooks attempting to fry fish caught from the Operation Blessing fish farm. It was then, says Andrés, that he vowed to build a fish restaurant that would benefit Zanmi Beni and Operation Blessing.
Today, Pwason Beni is up and running, serving fried whole fish, stewed fish, roasted chicken, and sometimes fried tilapia with rice. Pwason Beni is currently serving food to the children and staff, but will open to the public on October 1.