Acclaimed Spanish chef Jose Andres is getting out of the kitchen and back into the classroom. 

Andres, who helped introduce tapas to Washington-area eateries, will teach his first course at George Washington University next year. 

The weekly class on how food shapes civilization will be open to 230 students, the school announced Monday. Topics will include the politics and history of food, hunger and obesity and food's relationship with national security.

Andres says eating is one thing everyone has in common. He says food connects with science, art, energy, economics, health, diplomacy and other parts of society.

The chef has also taught at Harvard and has said he wants to create a research center on food policy that could level the playing field with agribusiness lobbyists.

Just last month Andres presented his Spanish Culinary Art course at New York's International Culinary Center which he intends to use to revolutionize the way in which Spanish gastronomy is known in the United States. 

Spanish gastronomy has "enormous possibilities," but - to make it better known and be able to export more associated products from Spain - a "critical mass" of restaurants and chefs around the world is needed, Andres told Efe.

"I hope that this becomes a home, here in New York, where everything Spanish can be shared with the students, and that this will be the start of many Spanish cooking schools all over the world," the Spaniard said.

Andres aspires not only to train chefs but also food writers, people who contribute to promoting demand for Spanish foods and the equipment, utensils and other items associated with catering from that country.

The idea is for the program to become a type of "culinary Cervantes Institute" that "helps create employment in Spain thanks to the quantity of products" that are going to be exported, via "that army that's going to help sell Spain restaurant to restaurant, as well as promote quality tourism," he said.

With reporting by the Associated Press.

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