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Celebrity chef José Andrés to open new restaurant at Johns Hopkins University

Chef Jose Andres, who has two James Beard awards and nearly three dozen restaurants, founded the nonprofit World Central Kitchen in 2010 to respond quickly with food and water distribution after natural disasters and other emergencies around the globe. He will soon open an eatery on the Johns Hopkins University campus.
Chef Jose Andres, who has two James Beard awards and nearly three dozen restaurants, founded the nonprofit World Central Kitchen in 2010 to respond quickly with food and water distribution after natural disasters and other emergencies around the globe. He will soon open an eatery on the Johns Hopkins University campus.(Andy Kropa)

Johns Hopkins University foodies are about to get some bragging rights: Celebrity chef and humanitarian José Andrés will soon open an eatery on the Homewood campus.

Starting Jan. 27, Andrés’ Butterfly Tacos y Tortas will serve up a menu that includes options like tacos hongos, which features marinated grilled mushrooms and guacamole, and sandwiches, or tortas, like one stuffed with chicken Milanese and black beans. The eatery will also offer salads and a variety of grab-and-go options.

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“Those Mexican and Latin flavors were something that we lacked,” said Ian Magowan, senior manager of dining programs at Hopkins.

The restaurant is a fast casual version of Oyamel, Andrés’ full-service Mexican restaurant in Washington, and derives its name from its predecessor’s butterfly theme. A similar concept exists in Washington’s soccer stadium Audi Field.

Located in a refurbished, 425-seat Levering Hall and operated by the university’s food service partner, Bon Appétit Management Company, Butterfly Tacos y Tortas will offer lunch Monday through Friday. Though it primarily serves campus residents, students and staff, it is open to the public, according to a Hopkins spokeswoman.

It’s the first university location for Butterfly and a third college outpost for Andrés, whose ThinkFoodGroup owns and operates nearly three dozen restaurants across the country and in the Bahamas. Two have two Michelin stars: Washington’s Minibar by José Andrés and Somni at the SLS Beverly Hills. The company also operates Beefsteak, a fast-casual concept focused on vegetables, at Northwestern and a Beefsteak food truck at Florida International University.

Andrés’ profile has risen further in recent years amidst a public spat — and legal dispute — with President Donald J. Trump, as well as the chef’s relief work in Puerto Rico and elsewhere. He was nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.

Andrés’ humanitarian work was part of what enticed Hopkins to work with ThinkFoodGroup, Magowan said. “We take a lot of consideration into who we work with on campus." Asked if there were plans to partner with other high-profile chefs in the future, he called it “definitely something we’re open to.”

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