José Andrés has raised over $150 million during the COVID-19 pandemic. He's served meals to earthquake victims in Haiti, to the National Guard after the U.S. Capitol riots, to coronavirus workers in New Delhi and more. None of that would have been possible, he says, without his wife, Patricia Fernandez de la Cruz.
"It's important to have a good network of family," he tells PEOPLE of his ability to do it all. "My wife is, I mean I don't know who sent my wife to me, but I'm sure it's a God from whatever religion."
His work with his World Central Kitchen organization and his restaurants — Andrés runs multiple restaurants across the globe — takes him away from his Maryland home quite often, so a level of understanding is needed for a healthy relationship.
"I'm a Catholic boy so I'm very happy because I can ask for forgiveness on Sundays," he jokes. "But my wife has been a huge anchor — and my daughters," adds the father of three.
Both born and raised in different parts of Spain, the couple met at a restaurant in Washington, D.C. and have been married for over 26 years, according to Bethesda magazine.
"When José is at home, after a few days it's like: When is your next trip? And then when he leaves, it's like: When is he coming back? Because when he's away, my house is quiet. And then he comes back, it's really fun. But I need to regroup," Fernandez de la Cruz told the outlet.
"He is totally the salt of my life. He makes my life more tasty. Also, he makes my life more crazy," she added.
In addition to his wife's support, Andrés — who recently partnered up with Adobe to promote how Adobe Acrobat DC can aid restaurant owners behind the scenes — credits his success in business and philanthropy to his mentality.
"I don't really work, I just live, and I think we all need to be more that way," he says. "We should not be thinking of work as work, but I understand I'm a lucky guy in that sense."
Technology has also made his life easier. For his partnership with Adobe, Andrés is a celebrity guest at the Adobe MAX conference on Wednesday, talking about how their programs allow him to view 3D renders of upcoming projects, sign documents, and collaborate with his team from anywhere in the world.
"I see myself as little bit a Forrest Gump, it's one of my favorite movies," he says. "I kite surf, I do scuba diving, I've been in submarines in the bottom of the ocean. I've been watching the stars with my telescope. I know a little bit of everything and I'm not good at anything, but that works, you know?"
We'd argue he's pretty good at it all.