If a tally of prizes and honors is worth the same in the culinary world as it is in the film world, then Jose Andres is having a terrific year.
The Vilcek Foundation, which awards annual prizes in biomedical science, and the Arts to immigrants, bestowed its 2010 Culinary Arts award to Jose. It is the first time the award honors a chef. Previous winners include Mike Nichols and Osvaldo Golijov.
The Vilcek Prize for the Arts comes with a hefty $50,000 prize and an award sculpture Stefan Sagmeister. The culinary arts jury is comprised of prominent culinary experts including Ruth Reichl, former Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet magazine; Dan Barber, Executive Chef and co-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns; and Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation.
Jose was also named one of the new members of the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. The board advises Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on policies and programs concerning the industry. The group also discusses tourism industry issues and proposes solutions. He is one of 28 members.