Feeding the Furloughed: Let Them Eat Teriyaki Chicken Sandwiches With Ginger Aioli


Have (currently otherwise useless) fed I.D., will eat. Photo by Evy Mages

Tom-Joad-like, celebrity chef, Spanish immigrant and Trump foe José Andrés has opened a pop-up kitchen in D.C. to feed thousands of federal workers getting stiffed by the petulant Man-Baby-In-Chief. With the shutdown almost a month long and over 70,000 affected in D.C., Andrés' non-profit World Central Kitchen - which has provided millions of hot meals to hurricane, wildfire, volcano and other global disaster victims, including in post-Maria Puerto Rico - this week opened a kitchen on Pennsylvania Ave. between the Capitol and the White House. Andrés, who owns a mini-empire of restaurants, famously pulled out of a 2015 deal at Trump's D.C. hotel after he began insulting Mexicans and other immigrants, will serve a rotating menu of free hot gourmet meals from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily to federal workers with ID. They can also get take-out for families at home, because here in the richest country on earth, “We believe no person should have to go through the pain of not knowing what to feed their children.”

Wednesday, as Trump blathered about "Radical Democrats/ Humanitarian Crisis," the kitchen opened to long lines of tearful, angry, ashamed and grateful victims of his “man-made disaster." About 4,400 people, double what was expected, queued for toasted ham and cheese sandwich with roasted garlic aioli, quinoa bowl with black beans, fennel and tomato soup. Thursday's menu - chicken teriyaki sandwich with pickled veggies, teriyaki tofu bowl, mac and cheese - drew over 5,500. Friday's grilled steak with carmelized onion sandwich and felafel and quinoa will likely draw more thankful for the chance to "just feel like a damn person again" amidst Depression-like lines and signs and anxiety. One aggrieved woman: "We shouldn't have to have this in America." Just so, says Andrés, who was already giving out free sandwiches at his restaurants during the shutdown. In a "call to action" from Puerto Rico, he pols and especially Trump to come together and "see the true meaning of We the People." His Twitter mantra: "We all are Citizens of the World. What's good for you, must be good for all. If you are lost, share a plate of food with a stranger...you will find who you are." Give this guy a Nobel.

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