The Place: Jose Andres-land
What the fuck am I talking about? What is Jose Andres-land, anyway? It’s the area downtown that has 6 different Jose Andres restaurants (Oyamel, China Chilcano, Barmini & Minibar, Zaytinya, and Jaleo, ). I named it that.
Why live here? You’re likely living under a rock if you live in DC and don’t know who Jose Andres is. He’s been dubbed “the best hometown hero” by Washingtonian magazine and has a heart that matches his cooking skill — incredible. So, maybe you like eating amazing food, maybe you like supporting good people with solid intentions, and maybe this allows you to do both while getting some variety in your diet.
Things to know: Aside from his well known philanthropic efforts feeding millions of meals to Puerto Ricans affected by Hurricane Maria, the category 5 monster storm that hit last September, he also handed out free food to student protesters at the March for Our Lives in March, and is the founder of World Central Kitchen, a network of chefs dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger through education and job training.
What else?! He was listed as one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time in 2012, has received an honorary doctorate from The George Washington University, and has taught a culinary physics course at Harvard University with Ferran Adrià. RUN FOR PRESIDENT, JOSE! (He can’t, but he IS a naturalized U.S. citizen.)
Fun anecdotes: Back when I was a Personal Trainer, I would frequently train people at their houses, and one day I arrived at my client’s house and let her know that we couldn’t start our workout until one of us got through on the phone to Minibar and made a reservation when the phone lines opened up. You see, back in the day, Minibar used to be a 6 person table within Andres’ larger restaurant, the late Cafe Atlantico, and reservations opened up every morning at 10am for the date 30 days down the pipe. I wanted reservations for the special 24 course New Years Eve dinner to gift to my boyfriend that Christmas, and this was how it had to happen. So at 10am, my client and I called from both our cell phones and her landline and got through. Then I made her do a million squats.
BOOM! Best Christmas gift ever.
Also I’ve been to a party at his Bethesda house (it’s cool AF) and left my umbrella there. His food truck, Pepe, catered.