On Sunday, May 18th, acclaimed Washington-based chef José Andrés delivered the commencement speech for the graduates of George Washington University, class of 2014.
Andrés, who is a noted advocate of humanitarian issues like immigration reform and sustainable solutions to world hunger, also received an honorary doctorate of public service from the university.
First, in response to some public criticism that the chef lacked the profile to serve as this year’s commencement speaker, and chef Andrés introduced a satirical video in which several celebrities were asked to speak before Andrés. The video includes appearances from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman, Owen Wilson, and others.
“My name is José Andrés, and I am a cook,” the chef begins.
“When I found myself alone in a new country, I didn’t buy a lottery ticket. I didn’t hit the jackpot. I just kept going... All these years later, my path has brought me here, as your path as led to you here, to this day, to celebrate your accomplishments.”
Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.