At the South Beach Food & Wine Festival this week, keynote speaker and headlining chef José Andrés (Jaleo, barmini) tore off his chef’s coat in front of hundreds of festival-goers to reveal a t-shirt reading “I am an immigrant.” The next evening, more than 1,000 miles away, chef Andrés showed up at President Trump’s first address to Congress as a guest of Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas).
José Andrés has become an unlikely outspoken political opponent of President Trump during a feud that began in 2015, when the James Beard award-winning chef pulled out of a restaurant deal with the DC Trump Hotel in response to the then-candidate’s disparaging remarks about immigrants. Andrés — an immigrant from Spain who became a United States citizen in 2013 — called Trump a “clever maniac.”
Since then, both Trump and Andres have filed dual lawsuits against one another, for which Trump was quietly deposed in January. Andrés also participated in the “Day Without Immigrants” protest last month that inspired hundreds of mass walkouts nationwide.
“I am an immigrant and a proud American immigrant,” he told cheering crowds at the South Beach Food & Wine Festival, according to The Miami Herald. “I am José Andrés, and together, with a message of inclusion, we can keep moving this amazing country forward.”
Andrés received a standing ovation for his remarks.