Victor Albisu: My One Cent
“We all need to be advocates. We all need to find ways to give back and speak up from wherever we can.”
World Food Day: October 16, 2017
Victor Albisu is a chef and restaurateur in Washington, DC. He’s the owner of two restaurants, Del Campo and Taco Bamba, and one of CARE’s leading chef advocates. With all that on his plate, we had to ask, Victor: Why do you advocate with CARE? This is Victor’s story:
I think chefs, in general, really want to help wherever they can. We all want to give back and be part of a community, and being able to help is an honor for me. I’m aligned with several organizations like the James Beard Foundation and World Central Kitchen. I feel very fortunate and grateful to be able to serve as a chef influencer the way that I do. I’ve been part of CARE’s Chefs’ Table program since 2014. I traveled with CARE to Peru, where I visited farmers, local culinary students and saw programs that are working to empower women in their communities. I saw how effective they are, so for me, giving back isn’t really even an option.
CARE is a real beacon for me. The work they do all over the world just makes so much sense to me. But then, when we’re talking about the foreign assistance budget and the president’s proposal to slash it, I just think we’re living in incredible times if that kind of help is on the chopping block.
That’s why I think we all need to be advocates. We all need to find ways to give back and speak up from wherever we can. If there’s no funding for it, so what? You don’t need funding to have a voice. You can find other ways to help, and I think that’s a better reflection of the world we’re currently living in. We need to find every avenue we can to give back; every avenue to talk about injustice and to support the right people, causes and businesses. We need to support everybody who is doing things the right way. Now is the time to dig in our heels and do everything we can as individuals and organizations to make a difference. It makes our lives better.
There’s a big world out there and we’re all interconnected and it all matters so much. I guess for me, it’s an honor to be included in something as important and inspiring as what CARE is trying to do and, in some ways, it’s embarrassing. I’m a chef. I cook all day long. It’s humbling for me to be included or for anyone to ask my opinion on any of this. I learn a lot wherever I go and that interaction and exchange of ideas with cooks, grandmothers, mothers, children… that’s where all the good stuff really is. If you can’t grab on to that, well… those are the people I feel sorriest for because that’s really where great things are possible. That’s really where peace is made in every sense.