Celebrity Chefs

Stumping for Clinton, chef Jose Andres turns up the heat on Trump

Jennifer Griffin reports on the Democratic candidate's efforts to sway voters in battleground states

 

Once upon a time, before the caustic presidential election was underway, the celebrated chef Jose Andres was set to partner with Donald Trump, putting a restaurant in his new hotel development in Washington, D.C. If all had gone well, Mr. Andres would have been with Mr. Trump in Washington on Wednesday at the grand opening of the Trump International Hotel.

Instead Mr. Andres was in Tampa, introducing Democrat Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally and speaking emotionally about what being an immigrant means to him. He said he had no regrets for pulling out of the Trump project, which he did after Mr. Trump launched his campaign and called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists.

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“Today I could be in a certain hotel in Washington, D.C. , opening a restaurant inside,” he told a rally here. “But here I am… I would rather be here with you in Tampa today.”

He said he would not even mention Mr. Trump’s name until he apologizes to “every Latino, to every Mexican, to every woman, to every veteran” and to everyone else he has offended.

Mr. Andres’s decision to pull out of the hotel project prompted a lawsuit by the Trump Organization for breach of contract, and a countersuit by Mr. Andres. They are pending.

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He also went after Mr. Trump’s multiple bankruptcies. 

Mr. Andres said he had been advised at one point to declare bankruptcy when one of his restaurants was faltering but said he didn’t because he didn’t want to hurt his workers and contractors to whom he owed money. Mr. Trump has bragged about using bankruptcy law effectively to benefit his companies.

This story originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal.