Cooking With Purpose

Chef Walsh Travels To Puerto Rico For Charity


Courtesy of Chef Jason Walsh

Chef Jason Walsh represents the Badger Nation in Puerto Rico as he helps the World Central Kitchen charity organization improve living conditions in the hurricane ravaged territory.

Janice Hanson, Assistant Online Editor

Looking around, all he saw was trash and debris surrounding the small home. He could tell that this was once a place of love and joy, but now the area was reduced to rubble. The lives of the citizens of Puerto Rico have been changed ever since Hurricane Maria ravaged the island. In light of this tragedy, there are some people that jump at the chance to help others – culinary arts teacher Chef Jason Walsh is one of these people.

Walsh took a trip to Puerto Rico with World Central Kitchen, a charity that focuses on improving the lives if people in places like Haiti, Cambodia, and Puerto Rico. World Central Kitchen gives people in need basic culinary training that helps them learn hygiene and practical skills to help them get jobs and further their education.

“I’ve never done anything to this magnitude before,” said Walsh. “I thought it would be a good experience as far as going somewhere that has been devastated by natural disaster to help.”

José Andrés, the chef that started World Central Kitchen, has become an inspiration to many for his work in charity and his career as a successful chef.

“He’s the one who really started to infuse food with smoke and getting to the real science of food,” said Walsh. “He’s a big humanitarian, so he opened up World Central Kitchen in Puerto Rico after the hurricane.”

Walsh said that his most memorable experience in Puerto Rico was his trip to a small village in the mountains.

“We were delivering food that we had prepared that morning when we came across this house that was littered with trash and had a miniature horse wandering out front,” Walsh said. “When we went in, there was this 80 year old man sitting in his bathroom without power. I gave him food for a couple of days. This memory sticks out because he had just lost his wife and his family to the storm and was left without running water or electricity.”

Walsh would like to do more charity work in the future and hopes to eventually lead his culinary arts students as they get involved.