WASHINGTON – Spanish chef Jose Andres has been named one of the new members of the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said.
Andres, named 2009 Chef of the Year by GQ magazine, joins 28 other prominent individuals, the majority from the private sector, on the board.
The Spanish chef, who has lived in the United States since 1991, is president and co-founder of ThinkFoodGroup, hosting his own show on PBS.
The 40-year-old chef’s first restaurant, Jaleo, is a favorite with diners in Washington.
The board’s new members “represent a broad cross-section of the industry, including transportation services, financial services, and hotels and restaurants, as well as a mix of small and large firms from across the country,” Locke said in a statement.
“The health and stability of the travel and tourism industry touches all regions and impacts employment and economic strength across the country,” Locke said. “I look forward to working with the Travel and Tourism Board to develop policies that can help put Americans back to work in this critical sector.”
The board advises the secretary on policies and programs affecting the travel and tourism industries.
The body also provides a forum for addressing tourism industry problems and proposing solutions.
Travel and tourism account for about 2.7 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), and “one in every 16 jobs has its roots in the travel and tourism industry,” the Commerce Department said.
Andres, a native of Mieres, Asturias, Spain, stars in the popular public television series “Made in Spain,” which introduces viewers to Spanish cuisine.
The Spanish chef has appeared on numerous U.S. television shows and won on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” EFE