Tags: fema | jose andres | criticism | hurricane maria | puerto rico

FEMA Slams Celebrity Chef Over Criticism of Maria Response

Image: FEMA Slams Celebrity Chef Over Criticism of Maria Response
Chef Jose Andres (AP)

By    |   Monday, 06 November 2017 02:20 PM

An official from the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Monday that famed chef José Andrés is "a businessman looking for stuff to promote his business," in response to his critical comments about the agency's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

"He was very critical of us publicly and we were disappointed he took that approach," Marty Bahamonde, director of the agency's disaster operations division, told BuzzFeed News. "We had a good working relationship, and we paid him a lot of money to do that work. It wasn't volunteer work — so we were disappointed in some of his public comments."

Andrés, who spent weeks traveling to Puerto Rico after the hurricane delivering food to those cut off from federal aid, told Time magazine in October, "people are hungry today. FEMA should be in the business of taking care of Americans in this minute. The American government has failed."

FEMA originally gave Andrés a $1.5 million contract, followed by another $10 million contract for two weeks, but the chef wanted a $30 million contract to last through December.

"For them to say I was a businessman trying to make a buck, whoever said that should be very ashamed of themselves," Andrés told BuzzFeed News, when asked for a response to the FEMA officials' comments.

"I didn't put the word 'emergency' in FEMA. They need to ask themselves what's the definition of 'emergency.' The definition of that to me is feeding people now."

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An official from the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Monday that famed chef José Andrés is "a businessman looking for stuff to promote his business," in response to his critical comments about the agency's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
fema, jose andres, criticism, hurricane maria, puerto rico
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2017-20-06
Monday, 06 November 2017 02:20 PM
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