Before he takes the Oath of Office on January 20, President-elect Donald Trump could spend up to 7 hours answering questions in a deposition over his legal battle with José Andrés, the Spanish-American chef, restaurateur and a former dean of Spanish Studies at the International Culinary Center (he now sits on the advisory board of the school).
The chef’s signature Cornicabra and ‘José Andrés Secret Blend’ olive oils, produced by Casas de Hualdo, are perennial award winners at the New York International Olive Oil Competition.
The feud started when Andrés backed out of an agreement to open a restaurant in Trump’s luxury hotel not far from the White House. Andrés argued that Trump’s derogatory comments during his campaign about immigrants made it impossible for him to run a successful restaurant there. Trump then sued the chef, seeking $10 million in damages.
Another chef, Geoffrey Zakarian, also scrapped plans to open a restaurant at the hotel, citing Trump’s incendiary language on the campaign trail.
Trump’s lawyers sought to avoid the deposition arguing that they had already answered similar questions in the deposition for the Zakarian case. On Wednesday, a Superior Court judge in Washington ordered that the President-elect sit for a deposition in his dispute with Andrés during the first week of January, before his swearing-in on January 20.
Earlier this week, Andrés took to the President-elect’s favorite communication channel, Twitter, to offer an alternative to the ongoing legal battle:
Mr. @realDonaldTrump can we end our lawsuits and we donate $ to a Veterans NGO to celebrate? Why keep litigating? Let's both of us win..
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) December 13, 2016
José Andrés was born in Mieres, Spain. Early in his career, he trained under Ferran Adrià at the restaurant El Bulli.
In May 2012, Andrés was named dean of Spanish Studies at the International Culinary Center, where he and Colman Andrews developed a curriculum in traditional and modern Spanish cuisine.
George Washington University awarded Andrés an honorary doctorate degree in public service in 2014, when he addresses the university’s commencement at the National Mall.
In September, 2015 President Obama presented Andrés with the National Humanities Medal at a White House ceremony.
Judge orders Trump to sit for 7-hour deposition for questioning in ongoing dispute with celebrity chef, Jose Andres https://t.co/i6iWuVlOPD
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) December 16, 2016