Chef José Andrés Backtracks On Claim Ivanka Trump Barred Him from Party After Restaurant Apologizes
Chef José Andrés has backtracked after alluding on social media that Ivanka Trump had him thrown out of an afterparty in D.C.
Early Sunday morning, Andrés —who was embroiled in a legal battle with the president last year — wrote on Twitter that “everyone” who was a guest at the Alfalfa Club dinner was supposed to be welcome to an afterparty at Cafe Milano, but he was “the only individual not allow[ed] in.”
Addressing Cafe Milano’s owner Franco Nuschese, the chef asked if the reason he wasn’t allowed in was “Because @IvankaTrump told you so?”
“You should be ashamed of yourself Franco,” he added.
The tweet gained further traction after former Mexican Ambassador to China Jorge Guajardo wrote on his own account that Trump’s eldest daughter had the chef thrown out “because his presence made [her] uncomfortable.”
“In a new low for Washington, yesterday @chefjoseandres was asked to leave the Alfalfa dinner after-party at @CafeMilanoDC by its owner, Franco Nuschesse, apparently because his presence made Ivanka Trump uncomfortable,” Guajardo wrote, adding that “Cafe Milano is the watering hole of the Trump Admin.”
However, Nuschese later apologized to Andrés for the “misunderstanding” and denied that Ivanka had any role in “determining event attendees.”
“@chefjoseandres, you are always welcome at @CafeMilanoDC when we are open and in fact, I will host you and toast to all your successes. I am sorry for the misunderstanding,” Nuschese wrote on the restaurant’s official Twitter account.
In a separate tweet he also added that, “The dinner and after party are different guest lists. Also, Ivanka Trump had no role on determining event attendees.”
Responding to Nuschese’s apology, Andrés wrote, “Thank you @CafeMilanoDC and Franco for the apology. I understand [it] was a ‘misunderstanding,’ ” although he added that it was “Still hard to understand why I was the only person not allowed in!”
Andrés also wrote that Ivanka had reached out to him and that he believed she had nothing to do with the situation.
“Thank you @IvankaTrump for reaching out. I believe now that you personally had nothing to do [with it],” he wrote. “Let’s now work on what’s important: Immigration reform, where #DACADreamers and Undocumented citizens will become part of a strong USA. With secure borders. With economic growth.”
Andrés found himself at the receiving end of a lawsuit from President Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign after the chef pulled out of a restaurant project in Washington, D.C.’s Trump Hotel. The move was a response to the then-candidate’s controversial remarks about immigrants, which Andrés — a Spanish immigrant himself — claimed made it difficult to attract staffers and customers.
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“I didn’t think the business was viable. I was trying really to help, for them to have a good outcome,” Andrés told PEOPLE at the time, adding that his restaurant company, Think Food Group, initially contacted Ivanka with their concerns before bailing when Trump’s rhetoric continued. “I did what I had to do. I was put in that situation.”
Trump’s side claimed pulling out of the contract caused them financial damages. “In short, the parties entered into a valid and enforceable lease, which the tenant clearly breached by walking out and failing to perform its obligations, thereby entitling the landlord to recover damages in the form of unpaid rent, cost of build out, lost profits and other expenses,” Alan Garten, executive vice president for the Trump Organization, said in a statement in January of last year.
Think Food Group countersued for $8 million, and the lawsuit was eventually settled in April 2017.
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But despite his issue with the current President, the chef previously told PEOPLE that he still has the utmost respect for his family.
“I think highly of Ivanka and Donald Trump, Jr. I think they are really good people, classy people,” he said. “I welcome Ivanka to D.C. If she’s around, my restaurants are always open for everybody. All my life, I’ve had plenty of friends who disagree with many things, but we’re not less friends for that.”