Transcript: Creativity in Cooking Can Solve Our Biggest Challenges by Jose Andres

This is what the advance of humanity has helped us – for having people that to achieve fire — what takes me a second, it takes them hours — They had to search for the wood — these girls get in danger because they’re alone in the forest, in the middle of nowhere. They can be raped, because they’re looking for the fuel to cook their food. They have no time to go to school, so they have no future because they receive no education.

Wow! And here we come… to corn; a grain that is everywhere to be found in America. For thousands of years, civilizations have been living around corn. Let me show you creativity.

With corn we feed the cattle, when, actually, we should feed the cattle with grass. It’s smarter, but no, we use it to feed those cattle that will produce meat. And with corn we are able to come out with oil, that is going to fry those potatoes. And with corn we can make syrup that help us to make ketchup. And believe it or not, with corn, also, we can make a great soda! Wow! With corn we’re even able to make the paper! Creativity at it best! I cannot beat that, guys.

So, the fun part is that I could be telling you how many things are wrong about these, but the truth is that a burger is a paradigm of the complexities of how we feed humanity. But I’m not going to be only blaming them, we are all here to be blamed. It’s a responsibility for everyone to be feeding people. Actually, you know one thing? You think that people coming to my restaurant, me, the great chef, José Andrés, I am not part of the best city problem?

Or, you know what about the environment? Who put more CO2, me or the fast food companies? A fast food restaurant receives two deliveries a week if — Do you know how many I receive? Sometimes 50 or 60. I need to be pragmatic if we want to feed the world. Actually, I put more CO2 in the environment than maybe those fast food companies that sometimes we complain about.

But no, I’m not being paid by them, I only know that I need to be pragmatic if I want my boys to be respected, and we can use creativity to bring everyone to the table, and bring riches — Are you with me?

So here I’m going to show you my creativity. Who likes almonds? Come on! Are you hungry? Are you hungry up there? Who likes cheese? Almond and cheese, right? That’s simple. Piece of cake!

Let me show you what I do when I’m willing to move away from my comfort zone — I’m pushing the envelope — Let me show you creativity my way.

I think this is the first cooking video in the history of TED. Almonds are being fried — Olive oil — Those almonds are brown, tasty. We add water; the same water that we may find in a very distant planet, in another galaxy. And here we’re going to be blending those almonds. And we’re going to be freezing that almond puree. And we’re going to use technology. We’re going to be making this amazing puree of almond, like almond butter.

Now, we’re going to be using some cream and we’re going to be mixing again. Any food critic here? Great, I’m lucky.

And now, we add liquid nitrogen. And take a look when we move away from the comfort zone what we can do for the few — By getting a ladle, a beautiful metal ladle — we’re able to introduce it into this milk of almonds, and a very thin layer is going to be attached to the ladle. We reintroduce the ladle. We change the temperature, and we’re going to be able to separate the almonds. The almonds were hard, they become liquid, they are hard again, but now, we change the texture. We have the power to do that. We have the power to use creativity. And you can do one, and you can do another, and this is telling me that there is hope, because we can do amazing things with simple ingredients.

If we apply heat, it melts again. We get the cheese, and we’re going to show you how to make a mousse, that, actually, if we want it, I can make that same mousse without cream and fat, only water… only water. No more fat in mousses!

But this one has cheese. We make the mousse, we fill up the beautiful almond cups. People of America, two humble ingredients elevated to a new dimension, great.

So, this is creativity for a chef, but how can I put this creativity that only feeds the few to feed the many?

Brillat-Savarin, 1826, one of the most amazing food philosophers in the history of mankind — “The destiny of the nations depends on the manner in which they feed themselves.” Wow! I think our politicians, but also ourselves — we’ve forgotten such an amazing, powerful, powerful phrase. You know, almost two centuries after he wrote this, we still face, sometimes in America, but around the world, obesity and hunger. How is it possible that some, we can be so overweight, while others barely know what to put into their mouths?

But you know, I would love to talk to you about how to produce food, but today I want to talk to you about how we cook and handle that food, because it can be equally important. We need to make sure that we start — we need to stop throwing money into the problem, and really start investing money into true solutions. And understanding the power of food, and the power of cooking and creativity, this could be a great beginning.

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By Pangambam S

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