Celebrity chefs pull out of Trump's Washington DC hotel

NEW YORK - Geoffrey Zakarian dropped plans to open a restaurant at the upcoming Trump International Hotel in Washington DC, becoming the second celebrity chef to sever ties with real estate mogul Donald Trump after his statements on Mexican immigrants.

Trump accused Mexico of sending rapists and other criminals to the United States when he announced his bid for the Republican nomination last month, prompting department store Macy's Inc and mattress maker Serta to end their business ties with him.

"The recent statements surrounding Mexican immigrants by Donald Trump do not in any way align with my personal core values," Zakarian said in an e-mail.

Zakarian, who runs a string of restaurants including The Lambs Club and the National in New York City, said Zakarian Hospitality employs many immigrants from all over the world.

On Wednesday, Jose Andres said he would not open a Spanish restaurant in the hotel coming up in Washington DC's Federal Post Office building.

"As a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status," said Andres, who is the co-owner of ThinkFoodGroup.