Young and Hungry

More Than Hot Dogs: José Andrés Teams with National Archives for New American Restaurant

At a deliciously catered breakfast at the National Archives Monday morning, chef José Andrés announced he's opening a six-month pop-up restaurant in conjunction with a government exhibit, titled What's Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government's Effect on the American Diet.

"To open an American restaurant is a dream," said the native of Spain and owner of various restaurants showcasing Mexican, Mediterranean, Spanish and Chinese cuisines. Just a few blocks from the National Archives, America Eats Tavern's menu will be inspired from the exhibit and tell the story of America's culinary history, featuring oysters Rockefeller and New England clam chowder. "I want to show everyone in America...that this country is more than hot dogs and burgers." Andres then joked, "And I love hot dogs and burgers."

Andrés used his pulpit in front of press (dining on grilled asparagus with romesco sauce and mini torrijas, essentially extremely moist French toast, topped with whipped cream, pistachios and citrus) to talk some food politics, as well. "If we use food the right way, we can end hunger. If we use food the right way, we can end obesity so it doesn't become a national security issue."

The exhibit will tell the story of the government's "dismal failures and life-saving successes," according to the archives' press release, in how it directed American's food choices.

The pop-up restaurant will take over the space of Andres' Café Atlántico. Minibar, the exclusive molecular gastronomy experience housed in the same space, will close during the two week renovations for America Eats, but will reopen the same day as the tavern, on the appropriately patriotic occasion of July 4.

In a moment of pop cultural poignancy, Andres' remarks were briefly interrupted Monday morning by call to his iPhone. His ringtone: Jason Marz' "I'm Yours."

Photo by Stefanie Gans

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