For more conversations like this, subscribe to “Cape UP” on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

There’s a reason Chef José Andrés was asked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday. He is as known for his humanitarian work as he is for his celebrated restaurants in Washington and other cities in the United States. In fact, when we sat down for a live recording of “Cape Up” in the spring, Andrés had returned days before from setting up food relief after a cyclone hit Mozambique.

“When people are in need, we arrive, we find the food, we find the kitchens, we find the helpers, the volunteers that want to join us,” Andrés told me onstage at New York University’s Skirball Central for the Performing Arts in Greenwich Village on April 15. “Chefs from all over Africa, they began flying in to help us . . . reaching as many people as we can.”

Through his nonprofit World Central Kitchen, this is what Andrés does when disaster strikes. With natural and human-induced calamities happening all over the world, I asked Andrés how he decides where to help. “We try to go where we think is the biggest, most massive kind of hit by a natural event or a political event,” he replied. “We go and we try just to feed the people as soon as we can.”

Because of Andrés’s work in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017, he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize the following year. He demurred when I asked him about that. But he was more talkative and direct about his food-centric philosophy of disaster response.

If you’re hungry and you’re thirsty, do you have a lot of patience? When you come to my restaurant and 30 minutes later, I didn’t send you the first tapa, [and you] just start bitching on Yelp or . . . rightfully so. Imagine the same situation, a day, two days, three days later that you don’t have food and you don’t have water. So food is a very good example of the urgency of now. If it’s [an] emergency and you’re supposed to take care of your fellow citizens, fellow Americans, if you’re hungry, you’re hungry today. Your children are hungry today. The elderly are hungry today. The very young kids are hungry today. Any day that passes is one day too late. So, this is a very simple thing to understand in emergencies. The urgency of now is now.

This gets to Andrés’s overall view of how disaster response would work. “In emergencies, locals know best how to take care of their own,” Andrés said as he decried the tendency of government personnel to tell locals “how you should run your lives” when they enter disaster zones. “We need to achieve a better moment where those organizations come in to help people in America or around the world, listen to the locals more and bring them into the solution.”

Listen to the podcast to hear Andrés talk more about how he got into the restaurant business, how Washington nurtured his drive to do good and give back, and why he doesn’t issue plans when responding to a disaster.

“If we plan too much, chances are that things are gonna be completely wrong. And once you have a plan, and everybody agrees on the plan, if the plan goes out of line, people freeze,” Andrés admitted. “Adapting always in these scenarios is gonna be more important than planning.”

And what does a hot meal mean to the people who get them at their most vulnerable? Andrés simply replied, “Hope.”

“Cape Up” is Jonathan’s weekly podcast talking to key figures behind the news and our culture. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.