"Maybe we need a chef in the capital that can bring everybody to the table," the chef told The Washingtonian.
If there's any public figure who's amassed an exceptional amount of good will this year, it's José Andrés. Just recognized as Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation, with a glowing introduction from Hillary Clinton, the chef has worked tirelessly to help feed communities in crisis, most notably serving almost four million meals in Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, all while continuing to oversee his restaurant empire.
So it should come as no surprise that the charismatic Spanish chef might have politics on the mind. Does he want to be president? No. Senator? Perhaps.
“I wouldn’t mind running for senator of Maryland,” Andrés, who lives in Bethesda, Maryland, told the Washingtonian last week. “Because I think we’re in need of shaping Congress. I consider myself a millennial, and I think we are going to need more young people on the right and on the left, people of respect and understanding.”
Andrés, who is 48, seems plenty busy, yet he hasn't ruled out the possibility that one day he might take the leap into politics.
"[Why] not?,” he said. “If I don’t see things get better in terms of understanding, maybe we need a chef in the capital that can bring everybody to the table and start having these kinds of honorable conversations. We know that at a table, good things happen.”
The chef has always been outspoken about political issues, particularly when it comes to immigration. In January, he wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post that addressed President Trump for his immigration policies.
“President Trump, if you are reading this: Back in 2016 you told me in a phone conversation that you wanted to hear more about my views on immigration,” he wrote. “We haven’t spoken in a while. So let me say this here: Walls will not make America safer or greater.”
Andrés reiterated this point to F&W in April.
"We’re not going to create a better America and address the problems of the world by building walls,” he said. “I’m very selfish. I do this for my daughters, so they can have as good of a life as I’ve had.”