We Fed an Island

The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time
Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (137 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The true story of how a group of chefs fed hundreds of thousands of hungry Americans after Hurricane Maria and touched the hearts of many more.

Chef José Andrés arrived in Puerto Rico four days after Hurricane Maria ripped through the island. The economy was destroyed, and for most people there was no clean water, no food, no power, no gas, and no way to communicate with the outside world.

Andrés addressed the humanitarian crisis the only way he knew how: by feeding people, one hot meal at a time. From serving sancocho with his friend José Enrique at Enrique’s ravaged restaurant in San Juan to eventually cooking 100,000 meals a day at more than a dozen kitchens across the island, Andrés and his team fed hundreds of thousands of people, including with massive paellas made to serve thousands of people alone. At the same time, they also confronted a crisis with deep roots as well as the broken and wasteful system that helps keep some of the biggest charities and NGOs in business.

Based on Andrés’ insider’s take as well as on meetings, messages, and conversations he had while in Puerto Rico, We Fed an Island movingly describes how a network of community kitchens activated real change and tells an extraordinary story of hope in the face of disasters both natural and manmade, offering suggestions for how to address a crisis like this in the future. 

©2018 Jose Andres (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about We Fed an Island

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A truly inspirational story that we all need now.

Heartbreaking and inspirational what Chef Jose was able to accomplish in Puerto Rico.A true must listen book.

3 people found this helpful

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Bravo, José!!!

Lessons learned from the respond to Puerto Rico. Every FEMA director should read/listen this book before they appointed to that position. You are leading a great organization, José. Thank you very much for saving the people of Boriquen!!!

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Great story, difficult listen

I would caution anyone thinking about getting the audio version of the book to listen to the sample before purchasing. Chef Andres has a very heavy accent which can make the listen challenging. Even though I am the first native English speaker of my family and have been surrounded by heavy accents all my life, I found that I had to be a very active listener in order to understand what was being said. That said, I thought it was a wonderful book and a very important story to tell about the recovery efforts on the island where I was born. My heart reaches out to all my fellow Puerto Ricans and thank Chef Andres and his team for all his efforts in the months after the hurricane. This is a must read book...however, maybe not in this format. It’s a shame that it is so hard to listen to...you can tell how committed Chef Andre is to this cause, even if it is hard to understand what he is saying.

9 people found this helpful

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OUR GOVN SUCKED IN PUERTO RICO

Fantastic & true story of what it took for emergency services to operate & succeed in providing fresh food in Puerto Rico. Great job in narrating by Jose Andres, founder & Pres of World Central Kitchen. He helped coord & create 16 restaurants in 2 weeks following hurricane Maria. Over 4,000 lost their lives--not the lies told by POTUS.

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This book was great. Much needed perspective!

This book was great. Much needed perspective on the relief efforts in Puerto Rico and disaster relief in general.

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What a great man!

Thanks for helping in times of need! I hope you inspire others to do the same through this book.

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Thank you

Thank you for putting into words what was going on on the island and fall are you doing and your staff but as I listen to this I realize that American history going back to the 18 1700s has never been to help the people withOut I see that people want to get rich off of the suffering of their own people as I came to understand with FEMA in the federal government like you said you just wanted to feed the people and you could do it for a lot cheaper price than what they were doing but the politicians and bureaucrats are more interested in the contracts and making money off for the peopleThank you again

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Every community leader needs to readOr listen to this book!

As a chef myself, Chef Jose has always been an inspiration. Hearing this story, kicks that up a million fold. FEMA, the Redd Cross and other “agencies” could learn a lot from this humble man who fed and Lifted PR from the depths of post Maria. Thank you, Chef. I hope you do receive the Noble Peace prize, it is well deserved. Oh, Chef does read this himself and his accent is thick. If accents are a challenge, you may be better served reading this beautiful book.

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True humanitarian working model

It was sad and inspiring to hear how these chefs were able to overcome the red tape of politics to feed the people of Peurto Rico and to develop a model for future disaster relief. It is tragic that the biggest obstacles were not the hurricane devastated island, but the archaic system our government holds dear. I am not a chef, nor do I think I hold skills that would directly help World Central Kitchen, but I have shared this book on social media and made a couple of financial contributions since I began reading the book. As Jose points out, this hurricane will not be the last weather disaster and the support will be ongoing.

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must read

A true account on the ground of what really happened after Maria. an eye opener!