Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Chef José Andrés suggests Trump take leadership lessons from Puerto Rican kids on The Daily Show

José Andrés, Trevor Noah
Screenshot: The Daily Show

The Daily Show had already booked chef and philanthropist José Andrés to appear on Thursday’s show before Donald Trump started tweeting his latest baseless, self-exonerating conspiracy theory about the number of American citizens who died in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. (Short version, best read in Grampa Simpson voice: “The Democrats are making up dead people to make me look bad!”) But Andrés’ appearance turned out to be uniquely newsworthy, since the renowned chef was right in the thick of the devastation caused by the storm (and exacerbated by the Trump administration’s well-documented neglect), serving millions of meals alongside his organization World Central Kitchen. There to promote his book about the experience, We Fed An Island, Andrés was asked by host Trevor Noah about Trump’s repeated claims of an “A-plus” handling of the crisis.


“I mean, we should help our president,” Andrés deadpanned, continuing, “We should be showing empathy he does not have.” The chef, an outspoken Trump critic who once pulled out of a deal to open one of his restaurants at a Trump hotel after Trump’s racist attacks on Mexicans, suggested that Trump’s “stupid tweets” hint that Trump does, indeed, possess the human capacity to feel for others’ suffering, but that it “gets lost between his hair and somewhere else.” Solid enough burn, but Andrés knows plenty about helping others, as he and his organization (which also provided food and assistance to people in Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew and Houston after Hurricane Harvey) spent months on the ground in Puerto Rico. (In fact, his organization is reported to have provided more meals that the Red Cross or Salvation Army, not that anyone’s keeping score.) Speaking of the dedication and resilience of the people of Puerto Rico, the chef told of a little girl who was put in charge of a sandwich assembly line, telling the president, “If a 10-year-old can lead a line of 100 people making sandwiches, shouldn’t you be leading better?”

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

About the author

Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.