McDonough School of Business
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Chef Jose Andres Gets MBAs’ Creative Juices Flowing

The Global Business Experience speaker series continued on Tuesday, Feb. 16, with world-renowned chef Jose Andres. Andres spoke to Georgetown MBA students traveling to Madrid and Barcelona for their week-long consulting project in March, discussing how creative food is the result of creative business.

Boasting an eccentric and outgoing personality, Andres has been credited with bringing small plate dining to America. The owner of restaurants in Washington, D.C., Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, South Beach, and Dorado, the Spanish-American noted the importance of self-reflection and curiosity – citing the qualities as precursors to success.

“It is very important in life to have the right ingredients to succeed – it’s something you must continuously ask yourself,” Andres said. “As a chef, I am constantly telling stories through my cooking and my restaurants. I’m a terrible writer, a terrible painter, but I am still a storyteller.”

Erin Rider, an MBA/JD student, liked Andres’ idea of “knowing the ingredients to life and knowing what will make you successful were key takeaways for me. It was very wise counsel because we don’t always think through that as we move through our personal and professional lives.”

In addition to encouraging a creative culture and looking out for new ways to turn passions into opportunities, Andres talked through the various businesses and restaurants that have brought him success today, including Beefsteak, Pepe Food Truck, America Eats, and Jaleo, noting how inspiration is often right in front of us.

“You’re going to be the leaders of your enterprises. You have to read your company and see how something within that business, on its own, can become revolutionary,” he advised, adding, “It’s important to listen to what life is telling you. Life has a plan. Don’t fight with life.”

Toward the end of his presentation, Andres made sure to leave the crowd a little hungrier than they arrived – playing a video of nine mouthwatering and creative dishes.

“In your profession you have to ask yourself, ‘What is my creativity?’ Where can I make an impact? No matter what you do in life, you are always going to have naysers telling you that what you’re doing is wrong. It’s important to listen to them, but it’s more important to listen to yourself,” Andres concluded. “Success is going to come from failure, so always try again.”