Speaking at the annual conference of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute on Wednesday, September 7, D.C.-based chef José Andrés (minibar, America Eats, Beefsteak) had a few choice words about Donald Trump, the Republican presidential hopeful whose controversial remarks about immigrants have alienated a large portion of voters.
Andrés, who had a restaurant deal in place with Trump for his upcoming Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C., withdrew from the partnership in the wake of Trump’s commentary. Geoffrey Zakarian, another celebrity chef with a Trump deal in place, followed suit shortly after.
On Wednesday, Andrés — himself a Spanish immigrant and naturalized American citizen — said that while he came to the United States legally, he believed that illegal immigrants deserved an opportunity to obtain legal status in exchange for their hard work and contributions to the economy.
“What we want is [for] every one of those people that are feeding America to receive legal status so we can keep feeding America,” the chef said, alluding to the immeasurable immigrant population that makes up the country’s restaurant industry, at every level of dining. “Who is going to be feeding America if we kick everybody who is feeding America out?”
Although he did not refer to Trump directly, the chef pointedly suggested that the real estate mogul was a “clever maniac, saying we’re going to be kicking out 11 million.”