Perhaps once he’s done feeding the world restaurateur turned philanthropist José Andrés will add another task to his plate: representing the American people on Capitol Hill.
The now-naturalized American citizen floated the idea of one day seeking elected office during a recent interview with Washingtonian — stating that he “wouldn’t mind running for senator of Maryland.” Although not his chosen profession, the activist chef has waded into politics off-and-on throughout this storied career, delving into issues ranging from the increasingly complex farm bill to immigration reform.
Most recently, Andrés has served as antagonist-in-chief to President Donald Trump. The two became locked in an ongoing war of words after Trump made derogatory comments about immigrants while on the campaign trail. That affront prompted Andrés to cancel plans to open a new restaurant inside the Trump International Hotel. Lawsuits were filed. Wild accusations filled the online ether.
Today, Andrés continues to prod the social media-obsessed POTUS about suspect policy pronouncements and pressing social issues whenever the mood strikes.
Although any future campaign is just a hypothetical for now, Andrés has built up a fairly robust record over the past few decades.
He was honored May 7 as Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation for all the assistance he’s provided storm-ravaged Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. During the 2016 “Sips and Suppers” fundraiser he co-hosted with fellow event organizers Joan Nathan and Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters, Andrés and Waters issued a call to combat childhood hunger by providing free school lunches to those in need.
And back when he opened the original Jaleo, Andrés used to spend his Sundays discussing global affairs with a well-informed regular. That man was late New York Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan. To this day a commemorative dish — sausage with white beans (butifarra casera con mongetes ‘Daniel Patrick Moynihan’) — remains on Jaleo’s menu.
- José Andrés Is Considering a Run for US Senate Someday [Washingtonian]
- James Beard Foundation Names José Andrés Humanitarian of the Year [EDC]
- José Andrés, the Accidental Humanitarian [E]
- Every Time José Andrés Took Aim at Donald Trump in 2017 [E]
- Hospitality Giants Aim to Mobilize Food Fans to Action [RC]
- José Andrés becomes a U.S. citizen after 23 years in the country [WaPo]
- Meal Ticket: Saluting Congress, Pleasing Taste Buds [RC]