Nationals choose Trump critic for first pitch at game the president plans to attend

Chef Jose Andres is a vocal critic of President Trump.
(Andres Leiva / Tampa Bay Times; Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)

The day after President Trump told reporters he plans to attend Game 5 of the World Series, the Washington Nationals announced that celebrity chef Jose Andres will throw the ceremonial first pitch.

Interesting choice.

Andres is a native of Spain who became an American citizen in 2013. He had a deal in place to open a restaurant inside the Trump International Hotel in Washington but backed out of the arrangement in 2015, citing comments made by the then-candidate on the campaign trail.

“Donald Trump’s recent statements disparaging immigrants make it impossible for my company and I to move forward with opening a successful Spanish restaurant in Trump International’s upcoming hotel in Washington, D.C.,” Andres said in a statement at the time. “More than half of my team is Hispanic, as are many of our guests. And, as a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status.”


Both sides filed lawsuits, which were settled in 2017. At the time, Andres said in a statement that he and Trump are “friends” and that he is “excited about the prospects of working together with the Trump Organization on a variety of programs to benefit the community.”

But if Andres does, in fact, consider Trump a friend, he has a strange way of showing it. Andres has been known to express his displeasure with the president on Twitter. Some samples:

Andres isn’t all talk. He is now known for his humanitarian efforts as much as his cooking skills. He started the nonprofit World Central Kitchen, which has served more than 1 million meals to disaster victims since 2010, and emerged as one of the leaders of the relief efforts in Puerto Rico in 2017 after criticizing the U.S. government’s response to the Hurricane Maria.

As the Nationals pointed out in a statement Friday, Andres opened a World Central Kitchen on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington in January to help feed furloughed federal workers during the government shutdown.

Andres was nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. Trump was reportedly also among the hundreds of nominees for the honor. Neither man won.

Now Andres and Trump will be in the same building together ... maybe. The Nationals lead the Houston Astros 2-0 in the best-of-seven series, so there’s a chance Game 5 might not even happen.

That’s the outcome Andres is hoping for — and it has nothing to do with the man in the White House.


“I realize is a big big big honor but I really hope that by Saturday night all of WASHINGTON will be celebrating that the @Nationals are the 2019 @MLB World Series Champions,” the Washington-based chef tweeted Friday morning.