Chef José Andrés, owner of several well-known Washington, D.C. eateries including minibar, é, and Oyamel, is the latest in a long-standing tradition of impressive commencement speakers at George Washington University. But students are saying that they got gypped in the process, because such high-profile names as Kerry Washington, Michelle Obama, and Michael Bloomberg have been commencement speakers in the past, and students say that chef Andrés is a regular lecturer on campus.
“I was interested in hearing someone new speak at my commencement,” said one anonymous student to the In The Capital blog. “Many students have already heard him speak on campus and he has even taught a class. We are in the nation's capital — I was looking forward to hearing from a world leader or influential politician."
One student tweeted, “Chef José Andrés is speaking at graduation? NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR GW STUDENTS.” Another witty student quipped, “He’ll give eight separate, small speeches but you’ll still be unsatisfied.”
Jose Andres speaking at graduation? NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR GW STUDENTS http://t.co/6Z1euiiUW1
— Jenny Rogers (@jennyrogersDC) March 20, 2014
GWU remains convinced that the star chef is the best choice this year. University President Steven Knapp said in a statement: “José Andrés brings boundless energy, wit and imagination to his work not only as a renowned chef but as a passionate champion of education, health, and economic opportunity, both locally and globally.”
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi