In The Know

José Andrés on future political run: ‘Maybe if it’s the right time’

José Andrés unloads humanitarian food packages
AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
José Andrés unloads humanitarian food packages in Kherson, Ukraine.

José Andrés isn’t ruling out one day whipping up a political bid.

The famed restauranteur and humanitarian, who founded the emergency food relief nonprofit World Central Kitchen, responded, “Obviously in life, you can never say never,” when ITK asked recently about potentially running for office.

But, Andrés said, he believes his “best way to work” is by “connecting with what happened on the ground with what happens in Congress.”

“Maybe that was my destiny,” Andrés said, recalling an encounter he once had with the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.). “The day I met Patrick Moynihan and he told me, ‘If you love America, America will love you back.”

While he’s an active critic of former President Trump, Andrés noted his work with lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle on hunger and immigration issues, saying, “I don’t believe in higher walls when things are going to get tough in the years to come, especially because food and hunger is going to be a bigger issue.”

The Spanish-born chef was poised to fly to Ukraine with World Central Kitchen the day after ITK caught up with him.

“We can build all the walls we want,” Andrés said, “but nobody’s going to stop an army of hungry mothers with their children in their arms.”

“I do believe big problems have simple solutions, sometimes we over-complicate things,” he added.

“So, if I run for office, I’m 53 now. With me being with boots on the ground, tomorrow I go to Ukraine … that’s what I know how to do best,” Andrés noted. I keep learning. And one day all these learnings, I can bring it to another call, maybe if it’s the right time at the right moment, why not?”

But for now, Andrés said, “I’m very happy just to run my restaurants, keep creating jobs, keep opening restaurants, and in the process, why not through [nongovernmental organizations] try to show policymakers that good policy is good politics?”

“If there’s something that brings America together,” he added, “it’s the realization that 99 percent of Americans believe every American should be fed.”

Tags Daniel Patrick Moynihan Donald Trump Jose Andres

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