An outspoken pro-immigrant chef asks if Ivanka Trump got him banned from party

Chef Jose Andres sits down at his restaurant, Bazaar Mar, in November to talk with the Miami Herald after returning from feeding Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico.
Chef Jose Andres sits down at his restaurant, Bazaar Mar, in November to talk with the Miami Herald after returning from feeding Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico.

An internationally renowned chef with Miami ties and strong opinions about President Donald Trump’s immigration policies floated the idea the president’s daughter and adviser kept him out of a prominent after-party Saturday night.

This ignited about 14 hours of social media umbrage, including a former Mexican diplomat getting biblical, before maitre d’ polite responses calmed things down. Chef José Andrés, owner of South Beach’s The Bazaar, retracted his accusation about Ivanka Trump, Cafe Milano and The Alfalfa Club after-party and declared, “Let’s all be friends.”

Andrés thought all attendees of the annual Alfalfa Club Dinner had an implied invitation to the after-party at Cafe Milano, which The New York Times tabbed in April 2017 as Washington D.C.’s main power eatery. But at 12:10 a.m. Sunday, he posted a late night tweet asking Cafe Milano owner and friend Franco Nuschese if Ivanka Trump requested he be kept out of the after-party.

Andrés’ tweet read as if he’d never been in the after-party. But Sunday morning, former Mexico ambassador to China Jorge Guajardo tweeted a thread in which he described Andrés being inside the party until Ivanka Trump entered. An uncomfortable Trump, Guajardo recounted, got Nuschese to beckon Andres to step outside for a short chat. Once outside, Andrés wasn’t allowed back inside, Guajardo claimed.

“At the Alfalfa dinner, Franco came up to José 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.

Nuschese didn’t respond to being publicly compared to the ultimate bad friend, but did want to soothe the chef. He used the restaurant’s account to tweet back at Andrés, “You are always welcome at (Cafe Milano) when we are open and in fact, I will host you and toast to all your successes. I am sorry for the misunderstanding.”

The dinner and after-party had different guest lists, Nuschese explained, neither of which Trump had anything to do with making.

Andrés had his reasons for thinking the first daughter would not welcome him at the event.

Chef José Andrés speaks about being an immigrant during South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Formal Tribute Dinner at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. The Master of Ceremonies was Anthony Bourdain and Gloria Estefan helped pre

Following derogatory comments about Mexican immigrants President Trump made while campaigning in 2015, Andrés stopped cooking up a restaurant he was going to open in Trump’s new Washington hotel. The resulting suits and countersuits have been settled out of court. Andrés remains a critic of the president’s immigration stances.

While all this played out on Twitter, Ivanka Trump’s account remained silent. But the 36-year-old apparently handled things the old-fashioned way — got Andrés’ phone number, called and had a verbal conversation.

Because, at 1:47 p.m., Andrés tweeted “Thank you @IvankaTrump for reaching out. I believe now that you personally had nothing to do. 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.”

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

Related stories from Miami Herald