Trump loses F&B partner over anti-immigrant remark
Famous chef Jose Andres, a native of Spain and a recent U.S. citizen, has backed out of a deal to open a restaurant in Donald Trump’s newest hotel due to the hotel magnate's anti-immigrant remarks.
Andres and the hotel had signed an agreement to bring an Andres F&B concept to the Presidential hopeful’s luxury hotel, set to open in Washington, D.C in 2016 – a hotel that Trump claims will be a “jewel in the crown” of the Trump collection.
Andres, renowned chef and owner of ThinkFoodGroup, is often credited for bringing the ‘small plates’ (tapas) style of eating into popularity in North America., and owns dozens of properties across the States.
Speaking about why he ended his business partnership with Trump, Andres said in a statement: "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.”
"More than half of my team is Hispanic, as are many of our guests. And, as a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status."
Trump’s statements have been the cause of a lot of controversy, with many claiming that they are racist as well as generally anti-immigrant and specifically anti-Mexican.
During campaign speeches, Trump said: “When Mexico sends its people, they're [sic] not sending their best. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us [sic]. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists."
Speaking about the border between the U.S. and Mexico, Trump also said: "I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I'll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
Since Andres announced the end of the business partnership on Wednesday, Trump has fired back, saying in an email: "[Andres] has no right to terminate or otherwise abandon his obligations under the lease.”
Trump went on to threaten legal action if Andrés defaulted, "to recover all unpaid rent for the entire 10-year term together with all attorney's fees and additional damages we may sustain."
The businessman also said he would enforce an "exclusivity provision" against Andrés to prevent him from opening competing restaurants in the D.C. area.
Andres isn’t the only person to cease business dealings with Trump. Macy’s has also recently cut ties with him, refusing to carry his menswear line in its stores. NBC has also ended its relationship with the presidential candidate, firing him as host of popular TV programme The Apprentice and refusing to air his Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.