José Andrés Reveals Plans for Fast Food

The chef tells Vanity Fair he’ll be “doing fast-food restaurants” in the near future.

Ronald McDonald or José Andrés? You may have a choice soon. Photograph by s_bukley/Shutterstock.

Tapas to go? During an interview at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, José Andrés told Vanity Fair he’ll be involved with fast-food restaurants very soon.

“I’ve been saying for a while that more and more chefs, we need to be [better at] influencing how to feed the many,” says Andrés. “We only feed the few. I don’t mean only on hunger issues, which I love to see the food community very involved in, solving the hunger and obesity issues in America and overseas, but I believe there’s an opportunity for chefs to have more of a say in how we’re going to feed the vast majority of this planet. You achieve that through the fast-food restaurants.”

Andrés goes on to tell the interviewer how chefs such as Bobby Flay and Steve Ells (founder of Chipotle) have been able to run successful fast-food concepts coming from a cooking background, as opposed to a strictly corporate approach.

“So I’m going to tell you, José wants to contribute to that, creating a fast-food restaurant. Which one? I cannot tell you yet. But will you see me doing fast-food restaurants in the next year, year and a half? Yes.”

Andrés has long been involved in charities like DC Central Kitchen that provide meals to many, and has floated ideas about fast food in the past, including healthier options at sports stadiums. Andrés has already dipped his toes in the quick-grab waters with his food truck, Pepe, which will start serving Spanish flauta sandwiches and soups again soon after a winter hiatus. He also recently launched a José Andrés product line with items such as potato chips that could come in very handy in a fast-food setting. Can we expect drive-through gazpacho and the McHamburguesa in 2016? We’ll keep you posted.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.