-Welcome back to “The
Tonight Show” in Puerto Rico! I’m here with world-renowned
chef and best-selling author José Andrés. We are in Piñones right now, at
“El Rinconcito Latino.” Not bad?
-Good Spanish. -Yeah, not bad, right?
Look at that. -This is great Spanish. I cannot believe it.
-José, thank you. Chef, thank you for being here. Can you please show me some of
the coolest stuff that you can eat here? -This is one of the many places you will find
in a place like Piñones. Everybody knows Piñones.
I mean, locals come here. Everybody here, they are local. So if you’re a tourist
and you want to become a local, you come here. And what do you do? Two rum sours, please.
-Oh, yeah! -Two rum sours.
♪♪ -Chef, what did you bring?
What do we have? -This is alcapurria. This is the essence of
Puerto Rico. So, they make with
yuca and yautia, which is another
root vegetable, right here, and they make this mash. And once they make the mash, they stuff it
with different things. This one is with meat,
the carne. But yours is different.
Yours is a jueyes. -A jueyes.
-Jueyes. Okay. Can you you learn how to
pronounce the Spanish? I mean, look at me.
I speak perfect English. You should try to
speak perfect Spanish. So, jueyes.
-Jue… Jueyes. Here we go. -So, it’s crabmeat.
It’s lightly crispy and crunchy. The smell is sweet,
but you cannot eat until I don’t finish
the explanation. -I know, but come on.
-And then you have to smell it. -Stop talking about it
and let me eat! -And then you are salivating.
-Yes, I am ready to eat! -So this is delicious. And now, only now,
you can bring into your mouth this amazing piece of
Puerto Rico. You need to close your eyes
before you bite into it. Yeah. Thank you. -Oh! Oh, my goodness.
-Control yourself. -Oh, my gosh.
-Control yourself. It’s TV. People are watching.
-I’m sorry, yeah. -Yes.
-Calm down. Focus up. Please. What is this is? -That’s the pastelito,
the empanadilla. This one looks like
it’s octopus. -Oh, it’s octopus. Ready? -No, you didn’t close your eyes.
-No, I did. -I know. I was seeing if
you were closing your eyes. Mmm! Come on, now. Oh!
That’s the one. That’s the one. -That’s the one. That’s the one!
That’s the one! -Wow. What is that
taste in there? -Every chef in Puerto Rico
has their own little secret ingredients
from the island, ingredients from other parts of
the world that became one. Puerto Rico obviously developed
their own cooking. And, to me today,
the cooking of Puerto Rico is one of the most
interesting cookings not only in America,
but anywhere around the world. -Yeah, really.
Oh, is that — Whoa! -Oh, the rum sours are ready. ¿Cómo estás?
-Bien. -For you.
-Muchas gracias. -And for me.
-Okay. Okay. -Oh, this is so good! With the Puerto Rican
breeze coming in, the sun, and the heat? -I mean, we should
walk in the beach. -Let’s go.
-Look at this. -I mean, come on. This is beautiful. -I mean, this is one reason why
everybody in America — if they want to
support Puerto Rico, they should come here. Look at this. History, great people,
great food. -You don’t need a passport.
-You don’t need a passport. -It’s America, yeah. -And plenty of small businesses
all around the island just to make you feel like you are the most important
person on Earth. -Yeah. Well, the big thing
for you is to support the local businesses,
the small businesses. Why is that so important? -Because, at the end,
the small businesses is what keeps the world running,
especially in America. I mean, if we help one
small business at the time, I know that the local economy
in Puerto Rico will come back on its own, because those are great,
hard-working American people. -When I told people I was going
to be interviewing you, people were like,
“Chef Andrés — oh, he’s an angel.” How does that make you feel? People really appreciate
what you’re doing and what you’re
doing for Puerto Rico and everything you do with
World Central Kitchen. -I came to the Caribbean
28 years ago, first time as a sailor in
the Spanish Navy. But, very quickly,
I came to Puerto Rico and I fell in love
more than 25 years ago. When the Hurricane Maria
happened, the first thing I did was,
on the first plane, I came. A group of friends, the best
chefs in the island, legends — Jose Enrique, Santaella, Wilo. Amazing chefs. They all came together. We opened a kitchen
and we began feeding anybody that requested a plate of food. We went from one kitchen to 26, from 1,000 meals the first day
to 150,000 meals a day, from 20 friends the first day
to more than 25,000 volunteers. At the end, we did almost
4 million meals. At the end, the people of
Puerto Rico fed Puerto Rico. The people of Puerto Rico
has the biggest heart I’ve ever seen
in my entire life. They came together
as one people. And, together, they move forward
after the Maria Hurricane. -What was it like being here
two days after — or as soon as the hurricane hit? -Yeah, three days later,
I arrived. I mean, it was very hard. I mean, people here had water.
There was no electricity. Doctors were operating with
their lights on their iPhones. The situation was chaotic. And was not just
a day or a week. This went for
weeks and weeks and weeks. -Your book, “We Fed an Island,”
you talk about everything you’ve been
doing here with your team and everyone
with World Central Kitchen. What were the hurdles? What were the problems
that you faced? -Listen, in the book, obviously,
I’m very critical of some of the responses
on the government, but I want to make clear,
the people in the government, the people in FEMA, for me, are the biggest heroes
I’ve ever met. They’re really good people.
What happened? The systems that
the government creates don’t allow those
men and women to be successful. So when somebody says,
“I want a smaller government” and “I want a government that is
really there for the people,” fine, I support that, too, but in Puerto Rico,
we didn’t see that happen. So I wrote the book to make sure
that we learn something from it, and next time something
like this happens that we didn’t expect,
it’s okay to not be ready. What is never okay is not
to adapt to the new situation. What we did is to adapt
to the new situation. I hope the book will give
a path to show others that we don’t need so
many meetings. All you need to do is come up
with more simple solutions that everybody understands
so everybody can join the team and everybody can execute
quicker, faster, and better. -I just can’t say enough.
Thank you to you. Gracias. Gracias por todos.
-[ Laughs ] -You’re getting there. I mean, I’m going to send you a
check for free Spanish classes. -Oh! I thought you were
gonna say — Yeah. -But you know what?
Can I do something? -Yeah. -Let me thank every single
man and woman of Puerto Rico, because they do deserve
the biggest round of applause by being the most amazing
people I ever saw after Hurricane Maria. You, the people of Puerto Rico, deserve the appreciation of all
of America and all the world. -I agree.
-We love you. Viva Puerto Rico.
-So, what now? What can we do now,
anyone who’s watching? -So, everybody can do. You are already doing
by showing up. Puerto Rico is a very
safe island with great people. Show up and enjoy this island. -Do you hear that?
Come to Puerto Rico. Show up, support your
local businesses, support your local restaurants. Let’s go get another rum sour.
-I endorse this message.