Two celebrity chefs based on opposite sides of the country will sit under the same roof tonight and watch President Donald Trump deliver the annual State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol.
José Andrés and Tyler Florence are confirmed guests of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), though Andrés told Eater “a few” politicos had reached out to him about potentially attending. In a rebuke to Trump, Pelosi has also invited two transgender active service members, survivors of last year’s mass shooting at a Florida high school, and the new president of Planned Parenthood.
Andrés is an outspoken critic of Trump and his anti-immigrant rhetoric. Florence was one of many celebrity chefs who lent a helping hand for #ChefForFeds, Andrés’s national initiative that set up emergency kitchens to feed some of the 800,000 furloughed federal workers during the weeks-long government shutdown.
Florence says his invite stems from a run-in with Pelosi at her home base in San Francisco. He runs Wayfare Tavern nearby in the Financial District.
“I saw her last Friday in SF when we were feeding federal workers in the same building as her SF office,” he wrote Eater via Twitter message on Tuesday.
Andrés’s humanitarian nonprofit World Central Kitchen is also behind relief efforts following the devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico in 2017. On Monday night, Andres was spotted at MGM National Harbor’s Fish by Jose signing copies of his book, We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time.
Andrés told Eater he’s prepared to reboot his #ChefsForFeds kitchen should the shutdown go back into effect again this month, adding one of the items World Central Kitchen needs most is cash donations. Trump’s second SOTU address, scheduled to start at 9 p.m., was pushed back due to the shutdown.
Andrés was at Fish by Jose on Monday night to kick off the casino restaurant’s truffle festival. Every year his friend back home in Spain gathers truffles with his team of labs and flies them to D.C. Diners can add shaved truffles, while they’re still available, to a range of Fish dishes for $15 extra.
Washingtonian posted a list of bars airing the anticipated speech alongside food and drink specials.
Florence says he’s “not sure” about the seating arrangements and whether he’ll be neighbors with Andrés.
“Amazing though...right!??” he wrote Eater via Twitter.
One of the biggest public watch parties in town is steps from the speech at Union Pub in Capitol Hill. The “State of the Union Pub”-branded event, which draws Capitol Hill staffers and politicos from both sides of the aisle, will feature themed cocktails like the “Who’s Gonna Pay for it? Mexico!” (tequila, sweet vermouth, angostura, and lemon). A cheeky asterisk on the menu points out that “Mexico is not actually responsible for the payment of this drink.”
Union Pub by on Scribd
Patrons are encouraged to drink every time Trump says “wall,” “immigration,” “infrastructure,” or “drugs” and “chug 70 percent of your drink whenever Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is shown on screen.”