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  • Drexel to Host Second Philly Chef Conference


    By Arthur Etchells  |  November 13, 2014

    Drexel University’s Center for Hospitality and Sports Management is hosting its second Philly Chef Conference. The two-day event takes place on Sunday and Monday, January 11th and 12th and will bring renowned chefs, restaurateurs, purveyors and food writers from across the city and region to come together to discuss issues facing the restaurant industry as well as new food trends, products and techniques.

    The second day of the conference will be dedicated to hospitality and restaurant professionals. Participants will learn about writing a cookbook, opening a second restaurant, rebounding from a bad review, developing a menu and more. Panelists will include Craig LaBan (Philadelphia Inquirer), Bill Mignucci (DiBruno Bros.), Bryan Mayer (Kensington Quarters), Kristina Burke (Drexel), Joe Beddia (Pizzeria Beddia), Spike Mendelsohn and many others. Check out all of the panels on Drexel's Philly Chef Conference web site.

    Read more.

  • Spike Mendelsohn wins Chicago's Hamburger Hop


    By Phil Vettel

    Spike came. Spike cooked. Spike conquered.

    Spike Mendelsohn, whose Good Stuff Eatery restaurants are in the Washington D.C., and Philadelphia areas, was guest chef and big winner in Friday night's Hamburger Hop, besting 14 other competitors.

    The Hamburger Hop, back for its fifth year, is a friendly, creative-burger competition among a dozen or so chefs. Patrons are treated to burger tastings and endless quantities of beer, wine and cocktails, and vote on the People's Choice winner. A panel including Carla Hall (of ABC's "The Chew"), Jeff Mauro (the Sandwich King) and Lin Brehmer (WXRT 93.1 FM) selected the judges' winner.

    Sponsors Allen Brothers Steaks and Turano Bakery supplied the meat and buns for the competition, though chefs provided individual specifications.

    Mendelsohn took the judges' prize for his Prez Obama Burger, which featured Amish gorgonzola chese, horseradish mayo and red-onion marmalade on a brioche bun.

     More Here


  • Chicago Gourmet Hamburger Hop 2014

    Local and national chefs faced off at Hamburger Hop to see who makes the best burger
    By Amy Cavanaugh

    The kickoff event to Bon Appetit's Chicago Gourmet food festival, Hamburger Hop featured local and national chefs facing off to see who can make the best burger. DC’s Spike Mendelsohn, who is opening a Chicago outpost of Good Stuff Eatery later this year, won the judge’s vote for his Prez Obama Burger, with red onion marmalade, gorgonzola and horseradish mayo. The fan vote went to River Roast’s John Hogan and Tony Mantuano for their Tête de Tête burger, with head cheese, onion pickle relish, cheese and crispy pig skin.

    More Here

  • New Rev Event Beefs Up with Preview

    Organizers, sponsors, and celebrity guests for tonight’s inaugural Rev event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway sat down Thursday evening for a four-course dinner at St. Elmo Steak House that spotlighted a stunning dry-aged New York strip and (of course) that famous shrimp cocktail. Guests included two toques of TV fame—chef Vic Vegas, who appeared on Food Network’s Next Food Network Star, Chopped All-Stars, and Food Truck Face Off; and Spike Mendelsohn of Bravo’s Top Chef Chicago—both in town to participate in the sprawling food-and-entertainment event. Indy’s own celebrity chef, Dave Foegley of St. Elmo, prepared fresh Alaskan halibut in a morel-and-tomato ragout, huge steaks dry-aged for 30 days, and chocolate-chunk bread pudding drizzled with bourbon—served in the historic steakhouse’s below-level private room, The Wine Cellar, which was Peyton Manning’s post-game hangout of choice.

    Tonight’s “chic outdoor experience” features headliner Jon McLaughlin as well as several other acts and dozens of local chefs paired with drivers, dishing up everything from squid ink–white truffle ravioli (Peterson’s) to mini cupcakes from Vanilla Bean Bakery.


  • Mark Turgeon created a milkshake that will now be sold for public consumption

    Mark Turgeon was 14 years old when he first started working at the Baskin-Robbins in Topeka, Kan. He remembers earning somewhere around $1.85 an hour and was so small that serving ice cream over the sneeze guard required standing on his tippy-toes. Obviously, Turgeon has since moved onto a more lucrative profession. But he retained the talents learned inside that particular parlor, which somewhat informs what transpired Friday afternoon along M Street in Georgetown.

    It took Turgeon an hour to drive from College Park to the Good Stuff Eatery, owned by former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn, so by the time he ducked inside and walked upstairs, his two competitors had already advanced scouted the peppermint bark, multicolored sprinkles and marshmallows destined to be heated by blow torch.

    George Mason Coach Paul Hewitt, George Washington Coach Mike Lonergan and Turgeon all came to participate in the BB&T Classic milkshake contest against each other. The winner’s creation would be sold downstairs at the counter for the next month, with partial proceeds donated to children’s charities. The losers would presumably return to their regular lives, unable to — ahem — shake the immense disappointment.

    Turns out, Turgeon’s wife Ann offered up the idea for his creation, appropriately named the Turtle Shake*. It would have caramel, chocolate chips, cookies and red sprinkles, Maryland-themed, of course, and all that milkshake-making experience of his formative years probably gave him the mixology edge. Of course, having a stacked judges panel — among them former Washington Redskins player and Maryland graduate Stephon Heyer and BB&T Bank’s Brian Meenaghan, who chairs the alumni board at the Maryland business school — might have helped, too.

    Lonergan, whose 7-1 Colonials face Maryland on Sunday at Verizon Center, whipped up a strawberry, cookies and cream milkshake. Hewitt, who faces Oklahoma in the doubleheader’s early game, went with mint chocolate chip, malt, green good dye and tried to write “GMU” in butterscotch.

    “It looks like GW,” Lonergan said.

    Turgeon stood in the back while the four judges tasted each creations. He did the“Turge Surge” when former Redskin Derrick Dockery said he liked the cookies. Lonergan delivered the afternoon’s best one-liner — “I fear the turtle will mess up your taste buds” — but later lamented his obvious deficiencies in dessert chemistry. Turgeon, meanwhile, was confident and the judges’ decision was ultimately unanimous. A sample, obtained by the Washington Post via an open-beverage request, confirmed the ruling. It was good.

    *This name fit nicely, but Turgeon really missed several opportunities for Maryland-themed pun names. Among them:

    >>Peppermint Bark Turgeon
    >>Spencermint Barks
    >>Evan Smores-trycz
    >>Lefty Drizzle of Fudge
    >>Nik Candy Caner-Medley
    >>Varun Rum Raisin
    >>Shake-ille cleare
    >>Coffe’eShon Howard
    >>Roddy Rocky Road
    >>Cake (or Shake) Layman
    >>Jon Graham Cracker Hot Fudge Sundae
    >>D.J. Strawberry

  • Turgeon Wins BB&T Milkshake Creation Contest

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Maryland men’s basketball head coach Mark Turgeon, George Mason head coach Paul Hewitt and George Washington head coach Mike Lonergan faced off in a milkshake creation contest at Good Stuff Eatery in Georgetown Friday afternoon as a prelude to the upcoming BB&T Classic Sunday.

    Turgeon’s creation – the “Turtle Shake” – was unanimously selected by all four judges as the winning milkshake. The winning ingredients included turtle chocolate, caramel vanilla and frozen custard.

    Turgeon’s “Turtle Shake” will be on the Good Stuff Eatery menu for the entire month of December.

    The competition was hosted by owner and celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn. The panel of judges included former Maryland Terrapin and Washington Redskin lineman Stephon Heyer, former Washington Redskin Derrick Dockery,  vice president of BB&T Bank Brian Meenaghan and Guy Lambert, radio personality on WPGC-FM.

    Turgeon credited his wife, Ann, for naming the shake. After receiving the news his shake won the competition, he jokingly asked the judges if they could referee the Terps’ game on Sunday.

    All proceeds from today’s competition as well as the BB&T Classic will benefit the Children’s Charities Foundation.

    Maryland will host George Washington in the BB&T Classic on Sunday at 3:30 at Verizon Center. Tickets are available on or by calling 1-800-IM-A-TERP.

  • Horton's Kids brings lawmakers, local celebs to Nationals Park

    Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., CNN hostJake Tapper, and D.C. chef Spike Mendelsohn all donned Nationals helmets and swung a bat on Wednesday night for the annual Home Runs for Horton's Kids at Nationals Park.

    Organizers estimate the event raises about a third of the budget for Horton's Kids activities, such as mentoring, health services, and food deliveries for families living in Anacostia. Tapper and Mendelsohn, who have both volunteered for the nonprofit, spoke and, in the latter's case, sang for the cause.

    After his off-tune rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," Yeas & Nays asked the former "Top Chef" competitor how he got talked into singing on the jumbo scoreboard.

    "I'm a sucker," Mendelsohn said. "Sucker just in general, but especially if there's kids involved."

    Mendelsohn said that after he first opened Good Stuff Eatery he wanted togive back to the community that welcomed him.

    "The irony was that Ward 8 was maybe like a seven minute drive away from my restaurant," he said. "Everything was happening so well right there on Capitol Hill, but across the bridge in Ward 8 is very depressing."

    Mendelsohn said Horton's Kids creates opportunities those kids will grab and run with -- and run they did, beating the Nationals' giant-headed Teddy, who usually runs with the presidents, but on Wednesday raced the kids on field.

    Washington Examiner 

  • Horton’s Kids to Take Over Nationals Park

    Thirteen members of Congress and more than 60 staffers will join CNN’s Jake Tapper and celebuchef Spike Mendelsohn to hit up the 5th annual Home Runs for Horton’s Kids.

    Mendelsohn will help fete Horton’s Kids at Nationals Park. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

    The invite-only Nationals Park event, scheduled for Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., will raise money for the Ward 8 charity, which provides direct services on the Capitol campus for about 500 children and families in D.C.’s Anacostia neighborhood.

    Several of the Horton’s kids and families will join the congressional posse of fun, which will include Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Reps. James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., Jim McGovern, D-Mass., Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., Dan Kildee, D-Mich., Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., Cynthia M. Lummis, R-Wyo., Jack Kingston, R-Ga., Dennis A. Ross, R-Fla., and Joe L. Barton, R-Texas.

    The young and the young at heart will be able to participate in on-the-field batting practice, indoor batting cages, face painting, arts and crafts, a silent auction and a Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 kiosk.

    Washington Nationals mascot Screech and Racing President Teddy will also be there. Special treat, kids: Mendelsohn, a former “Top Chef” contestant and owner of Capitol Hill mainstays Good Stuff Eatery and We, the Pizza, will create a special signature drink for the night. He will also lead the children in a rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

    No word on how many drinks Spike will need to pound before the public singing can commence.

  • Mike Isabella, Bart Vandaele and Spike Mendelsohn made the WHCD rounds

    Four members of D.C.’s “Top Chef” contingent helped exhausted journalists and government types relax from a whirlwind weekend of White House Correspondents’ Dinner events Sunday morning. Spike Mendelsohn, Mike Isabella, Bryan Voltaggio and Bart Vandaele joined the Reuters/Yahoo News brunch atop the Hay-Adams Hotel, passing out dishes inspired by politicos and talking new restaurants.

    Mendelsohn, likewise, took a fairly unexpected approach. No burgers or pizza for this brunch; instead, an airy artichoke cappuccino with truffle oil creme. The dish was a nod to his upcoming Bearnaise Restaurant, a steak frites joint on Capitol Hill near Good Stuff Eatery and We The Pizza.

  • A Trendy Turn in Obama’s Town

    SOON after President Obama places his hand on the Lincoln Bible on Monday, he will join lawmakers for a luncheon of steamed lobster, hickory-grilled bison and New England chowder in the Capitol’s ornate Statuary Hall.

    Meanwhile, in the trendy corridors of this city, the Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill will be gearing up to serve its signature Prez Obama Burger (with applewood bacon and Roquefort cheese) and its Michelle Melt turkey burger (free range, of course, on a whole wheat bun), the staff at the Boundary Road restaurant on H Street Northeast will be pouring craft beers from Baltimore and Brooklyn, and at the U Street Music Hall, the rock music will be playing long after the swearing-in is over.

    None of these places existed before 2008.

    That was the year when Barack Obama won his first election and started putting together an administration that would soon replace that of President George W. Bush. And for many of Mr. Obama’s young supporters, this secondinauguration — and its revelries — are symbols of the transformation of the nation’s capital into a younger and livelier city.

    More here

  • PBS: Politics and Pizza: An Insider's Tour of Washington

    Visiting Washington, D.C. for the Inauguration? NewsHour political editor Christina Bellantoni gives an insider's guide to sites that are off the beaten tourist path. She visits the best places to get grub, meet the the locals and rub elbows with some real politicos. Take her cue and you just may find yourself lunching on a half smoke next to a Supreme Court justice.

    • Good Stuff Eatery: NewsHour recommends the Milky Way milkshake, plus the Village Snack Fries with Sriracha dipping sauce
  • Serious Eats: Where to Eat in D.C. Near the National Mall on Inauguration Day

    Face it, if you're planning on attending the inauguration on Monday, you should be bracing yourself for crowds of biblical proportions. It may not be projected to be nearly as packed as Obama's first go around, but don't expect getting around to be easy. That said, don't let the patriotic hysteria keep you from enjoying a few good meals in the nation's capital. Since many of the Metro stations in the immediate vicinity of the National Mall will be closed the day of, here's a list of good bets within walking distance.

    Good Stuff Eatery: Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn's popular burger joint that's spitting distance from the Capitol building. Obama themed burgers, rosemary and thyme seasoned fries, and toasted marshmallow shakes.

    303 Pennsylvanie Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003; 202-543-8222;

  • Cayman Cookout: The food fest circuit's hottest ticket Read more:

    Cayman Cookout: The food fest circuit's hottest ticket

    Picture the ultimate winter get-away in the Caribbean. Then throw in 30-plus celebrity chefs, including Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert and Spike Mendelsohn and you have, quite possibly, the hottest ticket in the culinary fest circuit.

    Grand Cayman’s 5th annual “Cayman Cookout” (January 17-20) features four days of beachfront brunching, lunching and dining on fresh Caribbean cuisine … no shoes required.

    What makes this Caribbean food and wine festival stand out from the all the others? Organizers say that’s simple: intimacy.

    “This one you can literally walk up and have a beer with your culinary icon, you really can get up close and personal to your favorite celeb chef,” says Nancy Harrison, Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, the host hotel for the event.

    The idea for a more intimate gathering came from the event’s ringleader, Chef Eric Ripert, best known for his Michelin rated restaurant Le Bernardin in New York City. Chef Ripert’s loyalty to the Cayman Islands started seven years ago after vacationing there for the first time. One year later he opened “Blue” at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, the only AAA Five Diamond restaurant in the Caribbean.

    “It is remarkable to see Cayman Cookout evolve over the past five years. Each year, the line-up is more and more impressive. Before we would extend invitations to my colleagues and today they are reaching out to me to be a part of the fun. It is one of my favorite weeks of the year,” says Chef Ripert.

    Tickets to the culinary fest aren’t cheap, but well worth the price for the more than 3,000 die-hard foodies who travel from Canada, the U.S. and South America to attend. One event not to miss is the official kickoff “Barefoot BBQ” party held at the Royal Palms restaurant on Grand Cayman’s exquisite Seven Mile Beach. Chefs Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert and Jose Andres work their culinary magic on grill stations at the waters edge then guests wade into crystal blue sea to get their food and indulge, then relax the night away. Tickets are $299.

    Without question, the ultimate daytime event is “Burgers in Paradise.” Guests board red-sailed catamarans and head out over the island’s North Sound to visit one of Cayman’s top tourist destinations, Stingray City. After snorkeling and swimming with the stingrays, guests re-board the catamarans and sail to Rum Point to experience a burger-lovers well…. paradise on a private beach.

    Chef Spike Mendelsohn says there couldn’t be a more perfect setting. “I grew up with a lot of locals from this island we all went to military school together... (I’m) looking forward to hanging with some of them at Rum Point and taking a fishing trip,” he said. Burgers in Paradise tickets are $329.

    The four days of over-indulging wraps up on Sunday with a Champagne Brunch & Cook-Off Brunch where local chef-testants compete for the title of Grand Cayman’s own amateur "Top Chef" at the Ritz Carlton. Tickets are $195. Next year’s Cayman Cookout is set for January 16-20, 2014.

    For a more cost-friendly culinary option consider the Taste of Cayman Food & Wine Festival at Camana Bay.

    The casual, day-long event showcases island creations from roughly 35 local restaurants, attracting close to 5,000 people. Take a break from eating and learn about the island culture while listening to live music and sipping on rum crafted by the Cayman Islands Distillery. A chance to witness the festival’s “Heavy Cake Competition” is reason alone to attend. A taste of the Cayman’s famous heavy cake (a classic Caribbean dessert made with cassava (local plant) coconut milk and brown sugar) will likely leave you wanting more and also dreaming about your next trip to the Caribbean’s culinary capital. Taste of Cayman tickets cost approx, $50. The Taste of Cayman serves as a fundraiser for the Cayman Islands Tourism Association.