Restaurateurs, hoteliers, chefs, and their customers should rally around José Andrés.
He made a tough and potentially costly decision to stand up to presidential candidate Donald Trump. Trump made repulsive remarks about immigrants last week. An online change.org petition called on José Andrés to back out of a deal to open a restaurant in Trump’s Washington DC hotel. Finally, José Andrés announced that he would sever his relationship with Trump.
In a statement to The Washington Post, the chef wrote:
Donald Trump’s recent statements disparaging immigrants make it impossible for my company and I to move forward with opening a successful Spanish restaurant in Trump International’s upcoming hotel in Washington, D.C. More than half of my team is Hispanic, as are many of our guests. And, as a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status.
Jose became a naturalized US citizen in 2013. The newspaper quotes Trump’s son, Donald Jr.:
Our relationship with José Andrés has always been a good one, but, simply put, José has no right to terminate or otherwise abandon his obligations under the lease. In the event Mr. Andrés defaults in the performance of his obligations, we will not hesitate to take legal action to recover all unpaid rent for the entire 10-year term together with all attorneys’ fees and additional damages we may sustain. We will also enforce the exclusivity provisions preventing Mr. Andrés from opening a competing restaurant anywhere in the D.C area. Mr. Andrés’ obligations under the lease are clear and unambiguous. More importantly, construction is ahead of schedule at Trump International Hotel, Washington D.C. and when completed in 2016, will be a crown jewel within the Trump Hotel Collection.
Washington DC, rally around José Andrés!
Lawyers – help José Andrés find a way out of his contract!
Politicians – stand by one of your best chefs!
Washingtonians – We are all immigrants. Eat at Jose’s restaurants.