This Ex-White House Chef Has the Biggest Biceps You’ve Ever Seen—and a New Show Saving DC Restaurants

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Chef and Army vet Andre Rush stars in Gordon Ramsay-produced Kitchen Commando

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Chef Andre Rush is the star of Kitchen Commando. Photograph courtesy Studio Ramsay Global, LLC.

In 2018, chef Andre Rush was grilling veggies outside the West Wing for a White House Ramadan celebration, when the press corps snapped some pics of his absolutely massive 24-inch biceps. Suddenly, the internet couldn’t get enough of the Army veteran who’s cooked for four Presidents—and also happens to be a master ice sculptor and cake decorator who could bench press 700 pounds. He was a viral sensation.

Really, wasn’t it only a matter of time before someone gave this guy a TV show?  Enter celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who executive produced Kitchen Commando, a new series featuring Rush as he whips struggling DC-area restaurants back into shape. The first episode debuted on streaming service Tubi yesterday after the Super Bowl.

“We change the menu, we kind of fix up the place a little bit, but that’s not my main focus. My main focus is working on them internally,” Rush tells Washingtonian. “It’s not about saving the restaurant, but saving yourself as well.”

In the first episode, the chef and former US Army Master Sergeant visits H Street Northeast restaurant Crab Boss, which is struggling with high staff turnover, poor customer service, and a pretty gnarly looking kitchen. The couple behind the place are on the brink of breaking down and giving up before Rush puts them through his intensive two-day bootcamp. Let’s just say there are plenty of tears—and push-ups.

Rush visits a different restaurant in DC, Maryland, or Virginia restaurant in each on the ten episodes. He hasn’t made any pitstops at the White House lately—he was actually a freelance cook who lent a hand with big dinners and events. He’s got an overflowing plate as is.

Last year, he was a judge on Best in Snow, a Disney Plus show about snow carving (a thing!). He published a memoir entitled Call Me Chef, Dammit! and is working on a cookbook, out later this year. He’s got a contract with MuscleTech, which sells bodybuilding supplements. He’s working on a line of protein-rich pastas. And he’s been traveling around the world for speaking engagements centered around fitness and mental health, particularly bullying and PTSD.

For the most part, Rush now splits his time between DC and LA, where he plans to continue working in entertainment. He says he’s already talking to Gordon Ramsay about other projects. As Ramsay says in the intro to Kitchen Commando, Rush has the highest level of standards—”and the biggest arms I’ve ever seen in the culinary world.”

Jessica Sidman

Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

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