Watch CBS News

Culinary Commander Feeds Firefighters On The Front Lines

VENTURA (CBSLA) — He's been called a Culinary Commander.

Celebrity Chef Jose Andes fed Puerto Rico after the hurricane and now he's in Ventura County doing the same. The Thomas Fire is in its third week.

Andes has about 30 restaurants around the country including one in Beverly Hills.

"It's very simple we are Chefs and we know one thing is to feed people," Andes said. "Emergency requires that we don't plan or meet, we go and find a kitchen, we get food and begin feeding anybody in need."

Local chefs are working alongside Andes inside the Mission in Ventura making food for lists of people working the Thomas Fire.

"This is not an easy task, we cleared out Smart and Final of everything they had," Andes' assistant said.

Firefighters are working hard Monday and Tuesday to tame this monster of a fire while the winds are calm because on Wednesday that could change. Steve Concialdi has been here for days, away from home, missing family.

"We have a plane flying at 2 a.m. and a helicopter flying at 8 a.m. using infrared and fly over fire GPS any hot spots and by 10 a.m. firefighters on ground go an get hot spots,"Concialdi said. "My daughter is a song leader. I missed a big competition on Saturday she did great."

Chefs know a meal like this feeds more than the stomach but the soul.

"They are probably putting more love into this food than for their own businesses," Andes said.

The chef said he'll be in Ventura as long as he is needed.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.