Celebrity Chef Jose Andres has made a name for himself as a humanitarian, particularly in Puerto Rico after the island was hit by devastating hurricanes this past summer. To date, his organization José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen has served over 3 million meals to Puerto Ricans in need, more than any other organization.
Despite this, Andres was reportedly thrown out of Cafe Milano in Washington D.C. over the weekend, allegedly because he made guest Ivanka Trump feel uncomfortable.
Andres tweeted on Sunday:
Thank you @CafeMilanoDC Franco Nuschese! I was a guest of the #alfalfaclubdinner2018 “everyone”welcome to the after party, but I’m the only individual not allow in? Is because @IvankaTrump told you so? You should be ashamed of yourself Franco.@washingtonpost pic.twitter.com/iJ5wQM18Z6— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) January 28, 2018
Jorge Guajardo tweeted a play-by-play of how it all went down...
In a new low for Washington, yesterday @chefjoseandres was asked to leave the Alfalfa dinner after-party at @CafeMilanoDC by its owner, Franco Nuschesse, apparently because his presence made Ivanka Trump uncomfortable (Cafe Milano is the watering hole of the Trump Admin).— Jorge Guajardo (@jorge_guajardo) January 28, 2018
At the Alfalfa dinner, Franco came up to Jose Andres and gave him a friendly kiss. A little later he would be asked to do the Trump’s dirty work and, like Judas, betray an old friend.— Jorge Guajardo (@jorge_guajardo) January 28, 2018
Ivanka walked in ahead of him, not comfortable with his presence. Already inside. He’s approached and asked to come outside where Franco, who he knows perfectly well for many years, wants to talk to him. Once outside, he’s not allowed back in.— Jorge Guajardo (@jorge_guajardo) January 28, 2018
To him, it was nothing short of a betrayal:
Unbelievable! I’ve been to @CafeMilanoDC with Jose Andres and had the dinner comped by Franco, because they are friends. Now asked to do the Trump’s dirty work and kick him out. Only in Washington. Correction, only Franco Nuschesse. Anyone else would have better sense.— Jorge Guajardo (@jorge_guajardo) January 28, 2018
Twitter was understandably outraged...
Really!? Among other things, that's a terrible business decision.— Heather Timmons (@HeathaT) January 28, 2018
Although not everyone had Andres's back:
While the White House would not comment, apparently Ivanka did reach out to Andres and insist she was not involved in removing him from the event...
Cafe Milano also reached out to Andres on Twitter, absolving Ivanka:
. @chefjoseandres, you are always welcome at @CafeMilanoDC when we are open and in fact, I will host you and toast to all your successes.I am sorry for the misunderstanding.Last night the restaurant was closed for a private Alfalfa Dinner after party...1/2— Cafe Milano (@CafeMilanoDC) January 28, 2018
Of note, the dinner and after party are different guest lists. Also, Ivanka Trump had no role on determining event attendees. Franco 2/2— Cafe Milano (@CafeMilanoDC) January 28, 2018
Without having been there, it's hard to know whether this was a simple misunderstanding, a lack of communication after-the-fact, a malicious removal, or something else entirely.
Instead of arguing ad infinitum, Andres instead decided to take a different path:
Thank you @IvankaTrump for reaching out. I believe now that you personally had nothing to do.— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) January 28, 2018
Let’s now work on what’s important: Immigration reform, where #DACADreamers and Undocumented citizens will become part of a strong USA. With secure borders. With economic growth.👍🏼
Thank you @CafeMilanoDC and Franco for the apology. I understand was a “misunderstanding”. Still hard to understand why I was the only person not allowed in! Please people of @washingtondc keep supporting a great resturant institution. Now let’s all be friends. #USAforward— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) January 28, 2018
Well played, sir, well played.