We’re thrilled that Chef José Andrés will be helping us tell the Landmark Festival food story by curating the festival’s food court. In honor of our partnership with the award-winning chef, we caught up with José to talk DC, festivals and even his advice for hopeful vendors.
Read the full Q&A below, and get ready for the best in festival fare, coming this September to the Landmark Music Fest!
Landmark Music Fest: What is your favorite festival food memory?
José Andrés: My friend Seth Hurwitz’s 9:30 Club in the U Street Corridor is a DC institution. I’ve been going there for years and some of my best memories in this city have happened there. One night back in 2012, one of my favorite bands, Ozomatli, was playing. They play this mix of Latin salsa, urban hip-hop and jazz funk, and as the crowd started dancing, I went up on stage with a leg of jamón and just started slicing to the music. I sliced 100 plates of jamón and fed them to the crowds in the audience. It was a night I’ll never forget!
What do you think sets the DC food scene apart from other cities?
The energy that this city has and the sophisticated palates of its people. DC is rooted in history and you see a great amount of respect for that, but it’s also progressive and always looking forward. DC is a breeding ground for innovation, for so many exciting concepts. Nationwide brands like Sweetgreen and Georgetown Cupcakes came from DC. We have distilleries and microbreweries that started here. Our neighbors in Virginia are making incredible wines that could rival Napa or Sonoma. We have an army of young, all-star chefs that call this city home as well as chefs that have defined our culinary DNA.
It’s also a city with a strong international presence, a melting pot of immigrants from all over that brings diversity. And we are so blessed to be surrounded by so many incredible farms and you get a real sense of our appreciation for that when you experience our farmers markets and restaurants.
From start to finish, tell us your ideal eats for a day spent at a music festival.
When you’re at a music festival, you’re always on the move so anything you eat has to be simple and easy to enjoy. I’d start the day with something fresh and nourishing, like a salad with hard-boiled egg and avocado for lots of protein. At lunch, I’d have a cup of our Beefsteak gazpacho to cool me down from the mid-day heat. And after a long day on my feet, I’ll be tired and hungry and want something that is fulfilling but won’t slow me down, like tacos filled with vegetables. And of course, for dessert, salted caramel gelato.
Who are you most excited to see on the Landmark lineup?
Advice to restaurants looking to serve hungry Landmark fans?
Be ready to please! The people of DC only expect the best, and hard work does not go unnoticed. Don’t be afraid to do something unique and different, we have very adventurous palates and are always looking to try something new. But above all, keep it simple – no one wants to wait in line while you assemble your dishes!
What about you, can you give us a sneak peek of what you’ll be serving on site at the fest?
It’s going to be things that will satisfy your cravings and keep you running all weekend long! See you there!