The list of jobs and accomplishments of José Andrés frankly boggles the mind. The renowned Spanish chef not only has an award-winning group of restaurants; he is also well-known as a humanitarian, a New York Times best-selling author, educator, and chef/owner of José Andrés Media. On top of all that, Andrés has made a name as a television personality — and he’s continuing to expand on that role with a soon-to-launch series on discovery+, José Andrés and Family in Spain.
Announced in November, the six-part documentary series premieres Dec. 27 and chronicles Andrés’ journey across his home country of Spain along with his three American-raised daughters, Carlota, Inés, and Lucia Andrés.
The chef tells TZR in an email that during his more than 30 years in the US, his “big mission” has always been to share the food and culture of his native Spain with the people in America. “I believe that food tells stories and if you really want to get to know a place, you need to get to know its food,” he shares. “For me, there are no more important food stories than the ones about my birth country of Spain... now this new show with my daughters lets me tell even more stories, and to share them with the people I love the most in the world.”
To make that happen, Andrés set out across the country, eating his way through different regions with his family in tow. The chef used their travels as a way to highlight dishes and foods still unknown to many Americans and even the rest of the world. “We all know about croissants, but have you ever had a xuixo? It’s deep-fried and filled with pastry cream… it’s like a croissant for the gods. Everyone has had prosciutto, but jamón is the undisputed king of hams,” he says. “It’s these kinds of stories that I think everyone in the world should know; these are the dishes and flavors and culture of Spain that I know everyone would love if they just give them a try.”
As Andrés mentioned, however, the adventure wasn’t just about showcasing Spanish food and culture to the world — it was also about sharing it with his daughters. “I’ve never had an opportunity to do something like this with them — a tour of all of my very favorite culinary experiences in the country,” he says. “They have a love for Spain but I was excited to take them deeper, to show them more of the country that I love, that’s in all of our DNA.”
Thus, their travels became a learning experience for the chef as well, opening his eyes to the fact that his daughters were even more adventurous than he imagined. “Nothing [was] more incredible than seeing them make paella Valenciana in a competition against Valencians IN Valencia,” he shares. “The Valencians invented paella, so if you want to compete with [them], you need to have a lot of confidence,” he continues, noting the pride he felt in watching his daughters’ experience.
As the show will do for many viewers, it also exposed Carlota, Inés, and Lucia to new and unexpected traditions, activities, and practices in Spain. “We had so many unbelievable, incredible opportunities like fishing for gooseneck barnacles, going to Lanzarote, making blue cheese in the mountains of Asturias,” says Carlota. “These were all experiences that we’ll never forget and got to do together.” And it’s not just about the food: The show also features the family’s adventures — such as paragliding across the volcanic landscape of Lanzarote — and visits places and people special to the chef. “Getting to see these important places to my dad, like the school he went to, with him in Barcelona was incredibly special and memorable,” recalls Carlota.
As Andrés said in a statement: “There is no better way to learn about Spanish culture than with a fork and spoon in hand.” Even if you’re not able to visit yourself, you can join him and his family on in this culinary tour of Spain by tuning into the series premiere on discovery+ Dec. 27.