WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Jose Andres, a Spanish-American chef based out of the District, has backed out of a restaurant in Donald Trump's D.C. hotel.
The chef is the owner of ThinkFoodGroup, which includes 18 restaurants, food trucks and several cookbooks and TV shows. Perhaps his most celebrated restaurant is Jaleo in Chinatown. Andres backed out of the deal with Trump after the presidential candidate made his anti-immigrant comments recently.
The decision to back out of the restaurant was first reported by our editorial partners at The Washington Post.
"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. 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," Andres said in a statement.
Andres became an American citizen in 2013 after living in the country for years.
The Republican presidential candidate's son, Donald Trump, Jr. says they plan to sue.
"Our relationship with José Andrés has always been a good one, but simply put, José has no right to terminate or otherwise abandon his obligations under the lease. In the event Mr. Andrés defaults in the performance of his obligations, we will not hesitate to take legal action to recover all unpaid rent for the entire 10 year term together with all attorneys' fees and additional damages we may sustain. We will also enforce the exclusivity provisions preventing Mr. Andrés from opening a competing restaurant anywhere in the D.C area. Mr. Andrés' obligations under the lease are clear and unambiguous. More importantly, construction is ahead of schedule at Trump International Hotel, Washington D.C. and when completed in 2016, will be a crown jewel within the Trump Hotel Collection," Trump Jr. said in a statement.
Trump Jr. says that Andres signed a 10-year lease. He also says they plan to enforce an exclusivity clause that could prevent Andres from opening a competing restaurant in the DC area.
In June, Trump elicited widespread criticism when he said of illegal Mexican immigrants: "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists."
WUSA9 asked Washington attorney A. Scott Bolden about the legal ramifications of the deal. He admits it's complicated, but adds, "I think that the case probably won't go to litigation."
The super-chef is not the first high-profile partner to end ties with Trump after his comments.