His grand entrance at the Cayman Cookout gets more elaborate every year. 

By Maria Yagoda
Updated January 18, 2019
Credit: Rebecca Davis Photography

We're not sure how he does it, what with all the opening restaurants and feeding victims of natural disasters and traveling to wherever in the world he's needed, but somehow, José Andrés finds the time to plan and execute a super-dramatic, showstopping entrance every year at the Cayman Cookout, Eric Ripert's annual food festival at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Last year, he arrived at his cooking demo by jumping out of a helicopter, and the year before, he rode in on a horse. This year, as "Yellow Submarine" played from speakers, Andrés crept towards the shore in a yellow submarine, which he then emerged from, as exuberant as ever, spraying Champagne on his audience.

Andrés, who was just in Puerto Rico, proceeded to demonstrate how to make seafood paella and very-strong sangria, all while taking shots of vodka and feeding the audience giant spoonfuls of caviar. He also wasted no time in roasting his good friend Ripert, who organizes the event, and taking jabs at French food in general.

"I called reservations for Blue by Eric Ripert, and they told me, 'Sorry sir, there's no reservations left, you complain too much," said Andrés. "The portions are small. I want to do tapas and they want to do 24 courses. I'm like, Why dont you bring them all at once? 'We're French, we bring them one by one.' Shit, I'm Spanish, I want them all at once!"

Credit: Rebecca Davis Photography

He also said that his hunger relief organization, World Central Kitchen, plans to announce next week that they'll be opening more kitchens around the country to feed furloughed workers (and their families) affected by the shutdown. Last week, he opened one in D.C.

"We feed people of all parties," he said. "We opened a kitchen because right now we have workers who are in pain...I’m a guy that believes in building longer tables, not higher walls. I have friends of both parties, and when we are around the table, somehow, everybody knows where to find common ground. And we respect each other, and that’s the way it should be—in America or anywhere around the world. If anybody’s hungry, we will be there."