Jos- Andr-s: 'Maybe we need to have more chefs in the Senate and Congress'

For chef and restauranteur Jos- Andr-s, food is political -- or at least it should be."Food has to become a mo...

Posted: May 17, 2018 3:29 PM
Updated: May 17, 2018 3:29 PM

For chef and restauranteur Jos- Andr-s, food is political -- or at least it should be.

"Food has to become a more important topic from now on," Andr-s told David Axelrod on "The Axe Files," a podcast from the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN. "When a congressman or senator is trying to run for (office), we need to start asking, 'what is your food plan for America?'"

"Food can be solving hunger issues, food can be solving health issues, food can be creating huge wealth," he continued. "Food should be a more important topic even on the presidential (elections) as well."

Andr-s spoke of food as a unifying force for good. It is an ethos he has channeled into humanitarian efforts, such as his work with DC Central Kitchen and his trip he took to feed thousands devastated by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

"Our group of chefs, we already have a plan to be ready to be feeding Americans" in the event of another hurricane in Puerto Rico, Andr-s told Axelrod. "The very least we can be doing, to show that we care for them, for every American is ... to bring a humble plate of food. We cannot solve every problem, but at least we will be there to try to make sure that food is not part of the problem."

The simplicity of an idea like that -- feed as many people as possible - is one that Andr-s suggested that he would like to see from the nation's lawmakers.

"You can, Republican and Democrat, you can be whatever you want, but you respect each other and you believe that together we're going to be stronger," he said. "And in the moment you arrive to that simple conclusion, everything is simple."

"That's why maybe we need to have more chefs in the Senate and Congress, because you'll be a beautiful table like this one where everybody will be sharing a plate of food, and right there having conversations about how we should be investing more time on what brings us together, not in what makes us different and breaks us apart," he added.

However, when asked whether he would ever run for office, Andr-s played coy.

Nonetheless, for Andr-s, the connection between his personal politics and his food has become increasingly public during the political rise of Donald Trump. The chef made headlines in July 2015 when he backed out of an agreement to put a restaurant in the Trump Organization's new hotel in Washington, DC, over disparaging comments then-candidate Trump made about Mexican immigrants.

Andr-s, who emigrated to the US from Spain, said he had conversations with Trump around that time.

"I remember him calling me and telling me, 'Jose, we're winning, we're winning,'" Andr-s told Axelrod. "I'm like, 'Mr. Trump, I'm not running on your ticket. I only want to open a successful restaurant and you with your comments, you are disparaging the same immigrants and Hispanics I am. I owe myself to those same Hispanics. My success is on the shoulders of those immigrants.'"

The Trump organization sued Andr-s for breach of contract in August 2015, and the lawsuit was settled in April 2017.

Although Andr-s noted that both he and Trump got what they wanted in settling of the suit, the chef has continued to take the President to task over his rhetoric on immigration, ending of the DACA program protecting children brought to the US as undocumented immigrants, and his desire to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.

"The reality is these we have 11 million undocumented," Andr-s said. "They are part of the DNA of America. We have 'Dreamers,' super prepared Americans, they came here when they were babies. Immigration and immigration reform is not a problem for us to solve. It's an opportunity for America to see."

"I believe that one day all day immigrants and especially the undocumented ... one day they'll say we're going to stop doing anything until you recognize who we are, that we are not ghosts in the system but real people contributing to the American dream."

West Lafayette
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 34°
Kokomo
Broken Clouds
36° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 30°
Rensselaer
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 34°
Fowler
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 34°
Williamsport
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 34°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
33° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 27°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
36° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 31°
Delphi
Overcast
35° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 31°
Monticello
Overcast
35° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 31°
Logansport
Overcast
32° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 32°
Tranquil pattern continues...
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 367329

Reported Deaths: 6122
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion49899902
Lake31027490
Allen21054342
St. Joseph19435249
Elkhart19020249
Hamilton15894184
Vanderburgh11174138
Tippecanoe1041036
Porter951297
Johnson7969178
Hendricks7565165
Vigo6855108
Monroe613955
Madison5960126
Clark585487
Delaware5659108
LaPorte5377106
Kosciusko521449
Howard430580
Bartholomew391566
Warrick372776
Wayne370296
Floyd367080
Marshall347252
Grant334554
Hancock330465
Cass330032
Noble298150
Boone289756
Henry287541
Dubois284834
Jackson271838
Morgan267446
Dearborn258833
Gibson226533
Shelby223562
Knox217524
DeKalb215738
Clinton212725
Lawrence210152
Wabash201825
Miami197318
Adams195924
Daviess179951
Montgomery178029
Jasper174317
Steuben172316
Ripley171325
Harrison169726
Fayette167939
Whitley166117
LaGrange162534
Huntington158212
White156224
Putnam152231
Decatur149646
Wells147136
Randolph145725
Clay143126
Jefferson141119
Posey138422
Scott134027
Greene123654
Jay118817
Sullivan116018
Jennings109617
Starke107628
Fountain9988
Fulton99219
Spencer9918
Washington9169
Perry90321
Carroll83913
Franklin81628
Orange80128
Vermillion77013
Parke7496
Owen74411
Tipton68927
Blackford67317
Rush6688
Newton64015
Pike61021
Pulaski51721
Benton4653
Brown4346
Martin4136
Crawford3722
Union3122
Warren3013
Switzerland2825
Ohio2547
Unassigned0290

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events