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José Andrés Gets Turned Away From Party at Cafe Milano With Ivanka Trump

The chef says on Twitter the owner of the Italian restaurant "should be ashamed" of himself
José Andrés Gets Turned Away From Party at Cafe Milano With Ivanka Trump
José Andrés posts a photo of himself on Twitter after being turned away from a party at Cafe Milano.

DC celebrity chef and activist José Andrés was turned away from a swanky event at Cafe Milano Saturday night—and he initially said Ivanka Trump may be to blame. The Georgetown Italian restaurant was hosting an after-party for the Alfalfa Club dinner, an elite political event Andrés attended earlier in the evening. Andrés claimed he was the “only individual” not allowed through the restaurant’s door and speculated that the President’s daughter didn’t want him there. He called out Cafe Milano owner Franco Nuschese on Twitter:

Andrés’s longtime friend and former Mexican diplomat Jorge Guajardo wrote on Twitter that Ivanka Trump walked in ahead of Andrés, “not comfortable with his presence.” Once Andrés was inside, Guajardo says the chef was asked to go back outside, where Nuschese, “who he knows perfectly well for many years,” wanted to talk to him. After that, he was not allowed back inside. In contrast, Guajardo says, at the Alfalfa dinner, Nuschese came up to Andrés and “gave him a friendly kiss.”

“A little later he would be asked to do the Trump’s dirty work and, like Judas, betray an old friend,” Guajardo said on Twitter.

However, a source close to Ivanka says, “This never happened. She had nothing to do with the guest list and never said anything.” According to tweets from Andrés the next day, Ivanka reached out and convinced him she had nothing to do with him being barred from the restaurant:

Cafe Milano responded to Andrés on Twitter, reiterating Ivanka had no role in determining who attended, and that the guest lists were different for the dinner and the after-party. The restaurant also tried to make amends:

Andrés accepted the apology, sort of.

Andrés has had a contentious relationship with the Trumps after pulling his fine-dining restaurant from the family’s DC hotel in 2015, following Donald Trump‘s controversial remarks about immigrants. The split led to a big legal battle, which settled last spring. Since then, Andrés has needled Trump on Twitter, particularly over immigration issues.

While Cafe Milano has been known to attract politicos from both sides of the aisle over the years (Hillary Clinton is a fan), Page Six quoted a regular last spring saying the restaurant has become a “second White House cafeteria” for the Trump administration.

Anthony Bourdain has also chimed in, calling the incident “loathsome. A grotesque betrayal of a true patriot and hero.” Now, the restaurant is being bombed by one-star Yelp reviews.

Washingtonian has contacted Andrés and Cafe Milano for further comment and will update this story if and when we hear back.

This story has been updated with tweets from Cafe Milano and Andrés. 

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Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.