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Celebrity Chefs Should Stay Out of Politics

Celebrity chef José Andrés should stay out of politics. Focus on your business. It needs it. And because of his dumb comments about Donald Trump, as well as his backing out of a business deal, I have no interest eating at his restaurants ever again.

Make no mistake, chef José Andrés has been overwhelming successful and some of his dishes are great, as are his Restaurant concepts. However, the experience at his places are hyped up and overpriced. It was not always that way, but his food at his flagship restaurant, Jaleo, could use an update. I think the success has gone to his head, just like his politics.

Yleem and I have visited Spain many times. We’ve been fortunate to try tapas, and other authentic Spanish food, throughout that great country. Chef Andrés does an alright job selling his brand, but this does not carry over to most essential part of any business: his customers. The food is alright yet, at times, unpredictable. Tapas, just one very small part of Spanish cuisine and culture, is not meant to be a stuffy experience.

Maybe that is not what he was going for when he started the chain, but, there is a lot more to Spanish cuisine than overpriced tapas. They used to give you complimentary olives when he first started, now he has nothing complimentary but his unwelcome foray into politics. While the Trump organization probably made a good choice to work with Andrés in Washington, DC, if they wanted Spanish food at their new place, they could’ve found some new talent such as Chef Lorena Garcia or Chef Douglas Rodriguez. There is plenty to pick from.

In what appears to be one really stupid business decision, Chef Andrés pulled out of deal with Trump’s hotel group to open a restaurant at the Old Post Office Building in Washington, DC. Andrés caved to pressed from extremist Left wing Latino groups that scurry about this town preaching the divisive gospel of hyphenated politics. Or maybe he didn’t cave, maybe he agrees with these people?

“More than half of my team is Hispanic, as are many of our guests. And, as a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status,” said Andrés, chef and owner of ThinkFoodGroup.

How does he know ethnic makeup of  his customers and how is the relevant to his food? Same goes for the ethnic makeup of his workforce (you’re not supposed to be asking those questions). Andrés caved and is now show boating and Hispandering to the politically-correct elites that have moved into the area since Obama won the White House. He saw a few protestors in front of the Old Post Office a few days after Donald Trump made some comments about immigration. Then he backs out of a deal. Trump’s lawyers are suing the celebrity chef for $10 million

Friends and colleagues from Spain who live in the area have repeatedly shared with me for years that they will not eat at his restaurants. Some do not like the food, but most of them do not like him. I guess they knew something we caught on to hundreds of dollars later, be authentic or you’ll eventually be exposed as something you’re not.

In the case of Andrés, he seems to have a chip on his shoulder. He has either been duped by the Left or actually believes the myth that America is a salad bowl, not a melting pot, or that there is some form of rampant racism against Americans of Hispanic ancestry (simply not true). Chef, some gratitude to your new country would be good way to start your new American journey. And keep your word. Breaking it, over the long run, can cost you a whole lot more than the Trump lawsuit will. 

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