Food

For José Andrés, Politics is All About Star Wars

José Andrés and Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator at the U.S. Small Business Administration

According to José Andrés, American politics have reached fantasy levels. While accepting an award at the Hispanic-American Entrepreneurship Summit on Tuesday, the chef summarized the upcoming presidential election with a metaphor borrowed from Star Wars.

“It seems as though the conflict is always the same,” he said. “The dark side versus the light side.”

Andrés didn’t point any fingers about who might be the Dark Lord of the Sith in this analogy, but it’s reasonable to assume that Donald Trump—who’s involved in a nasty legal battle with Andrés—is a candidate. This isn’t the first time Andrés has slipped a Star Wars reference into a speech.

According to Andrés, Latino entrepreneurs have a duty to stand up to the bad guys, fantasy or fiction. 

“We are connecting the people in the places we live to the places we came from,” he said. “This is a power not everybody has, and we need to use it for good.”

One way to do so is by emphasizing inclusivity, which Andrés said is an essential part of the restaurant industry.

“Inclusion is how I make a living,” he said. “ I want all my guests to feel happy and welcome, to feel at home.”

Although he may be grim about the election, Andrés said he’s optimistic about the future of food in the District.

“The best years are only ahead of us,” he said. “Some of the most unique fast-food companies are being created here in DC, from Sweetgreen to &pizza. I’ve never seen a city with more restaurant openings in the last five years anywhere in America.”

Washingtonians may have to fight off stormtroopers in the near future, but at least they won’t be hungry while they do it.

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Marisa H. Dunn
Editorial Fellow