Our weekend at Vulture Festival took an interesting turn at the end when we attended Chelsea Handler’s panel and cooking demonstration with Chef José Andrés. If you haven’t heard of him, Chef Andrés is a vocal, social media savvy, Spanish chef based in the D.C. area with an impressive showcase of restaurants and has recently gotten out of a two-year lawsuit with Trump.
The panel/demonstration started with a conversation between Handler and Andrés, who talked about his suit with Trump. The restaurant, meant to be a fusion of Spanish and Japanese cuisine, was supposed to be based in the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. However, Andrés pulled out of the restaurant deal when, in 2015, Donald Trump made disparaging comments about Mexicans, calling them “rapists” and saying that they were bringing drugs and crime into the U.S (Source). The Trump Organization eventually settled after the two-year legal battle, and Andrés hasn’t looked back.
Andrés talked passionately about immigration reform and his hopes for the undocumented people in America, and he and Handler discussed being vocal about politics and not being silent anymore. While Andrés called for the President to be humble and learn to apologize more, Handler had strong hopes for the public, “A lot of people are more fired up than they’ve ever been, and that gives me hope. Good outweighs bad, it always will.”
After their discussion, things kind of went a little sideways, well at least for me. I’m definitely the last person to criticize Chef Andrés. I’ve been a huge fan of him for years and his restaurant Zaytinya is one of my absolute favorites in D.C., but after knocking back a couple of drinks and diving head first into some eighteen egg recipes, the panel got a little bit unruly.
At one point, Andrés was tossing hard boiled eggs into the crowd and then feeding audience members heaping tablespoons of caviar. While the discussion was compelling and insightful, the cooking segment definitely ended up in a bit of disarray, with Handler barely keeping up with Andrés’ rampant enthusiasm. A unique and different cooking program, watching José Andrés and Chelsea Handler heat up the kitchen left us both exhausted and starving for a good plate of eggs.