Anthony Bourdain has become the latest celebrity chef to express his opinion of Donald Trump’s insane immigration plan. During an interview on SiriusXM’s StandUp With Pete Dominick, the television personality defended undocumented immigrants, many of whom he had worked with during his thirty years in the restaurant business, while describing them as “the backbone of the industry.”

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“If Mr. Trump deports 11 million people or whatever he’s talking about right now, every restaurant in America would shut down,” Bourdain said in the interview, via EW. “Like a lot of other white kids, I rolled out of a prestigious culinary institute and went to work in real restaurants,” Bourdain explained. “I walked into restaurants and the person always who’d been there the longest, who took the time to show me how it was done, was always Mexican or Central American.”

According to Eater, Bourdain had vocalized his feelings for Trump earlier this year. “He offends me,” Bourdain stated, while also criticizing the Trump Taj Mahal casino. “It’s everything I hate. It’s the enemy of the human spirit.”

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He also took a shot at culinary school graduates who refused to start at entry-level positions. “Never, in any of those years, not once, did anyone walk into my restaurant — any American-born kid — walk into my restaurant and say, ‘I’d like a job as a night porter or a dishwasher,” he said. “Even a prep cook — few and far between.”

Bourdain’s celebrity chefs José Andrés and Geoffrey Zakarian are countersuing Trump after he sued them for pulling their restaurants out of his new Washington DC hotel. Earlier this month, Andrés, who is an immigrant himself, shared similar thoughts to Bourdain’s at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s annual conference. “Who is going to be feeding America if we kick everybody that is feeding America out?” the Spanish restaurateur asked the crowd. “We are here making this country great.” Andrés continued, “Nobody has to make America great again because America is already the greatest country on earth and people like us — we are only going to keep moving it forward.”


Contact the author at marie.lodi@jezebel.com.

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