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  • Top 10 Burger Joints in the US


    Do you like your burgers made by a celebrity chef? Served with fancy toppings like foie gras or truffles? Or, do you enjoy the classic version with ketchup and a side of fries? Whether you like your patty beef or turkey, well-dressed or naked, you are sure to find something to your liking on Gayot.com’s list of the Top 10 Burger Restaurants in the United States.

    #5  Good Stuff Eatery -Washington, DC

    "Top Chef" alum Spike Mendelsohn is behind DC's Good Stuff Eatery, where hungry Hill staffers and locals crowd in for the overstuffed burgers and hand-cut fries.

    More here


  • The Ten: Marvelous Milkshakes


    So many choices, so little time. The Ten is your guide to the best of the best that D.C. has to offer.

    We’re finally getting into the swing of spring. To celebrate, we’re throwing calorie counting to the warm breeze and binging on milkshakes. Here are ten sippable stars – some kid friendly, others for the 21+ crowd only.

    Toasted Marshmallow
    Sour cream, vanilla ice cream, milk and charred mallows are spun together to create this stellar shake at Good Stuff Eatery. To further sweeten the deal, it’s capped off with two more flame kissed marshmallows.

    More

  • Digesting News a la Spike Mendelsohn

    By Warren Rojas

    Roll Call

    Restaurateur Spike Mendelsohn doesn’t just make headlines in this town, he now also serves them up to those plugged into the gastro-themed feeds he’s created for news-sharing upstart Trove.

    The media aggregating service tapped the reality-TV-star-turned-culinary-empire-builder — Good Stuff Eatery, We, The Pizza and Béarnaise have all taken root on Capitol Hill — to serve as one of its featured curators. Mendelsohn has, so far, carved out three dedicated channels:

    • Hidden Food Destinations: lots of updates on fellow “Top Chef” alumni, as well as tips about noteworthy eats from north of the border (he was born in Canada, after all)
    • Farm to Table: observations about how we treat food, and vice versa
    • Food Regulations: reports from food policy watchdogs

    According to a Mendelsohn aide, the globe-trotting toque learned about the fledgling project from consulting pro Marc Adelman. Once on board, Team Trove showed Mendelsohn how to flag his preferred content — “Those troves were all topics that Spike was interested in and wanted to follow,” Team Mendelsohn asserted — and then let him do his thing.

    “With Spike’s busy schedule, there is a huge value in being able to source his favorite news sources and the topics that he personally cares about from his cellphone or iPad,”  a spokeswoman said of the mobile-friendly application.

    Meanwhile, the budding new guru maintains that he still has much to learn.

    “I think that [award-winning restaurateur and Union Square Hospitality Group CEO] Danny Meyer does a great job of keeping up with what is going on in the industry. He has built a successful restaurant group based on listening — to his customers, to trends and to other entrepreneurs,” Mendelsohn said.

    He also greatly admires experimental-chefs-turned-award-winning authors Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot. “Those two just are full of ideas and know how to push boundaries,” Mendelsohn said.

    Craving more?

    Mendelsohn urged voracious readers to devour everything they can about local sourcing, environmental sustainability, children’s dietary health and food security issues. “We all need to pay attention to food on a global scale,” he counseled.

  • Spend or Save?

    Spend or Save? Pricey Burgers, Affordable Steaks

    By Rina Rapuano

    This town is full of excellent go-to spots where you can eat very well at middle-of-the-road prices. But for those days when you're feeling either slightly broke or extra flush, we've rounded up some high-dollar and low-cost ways to eat and drink deliciously. Because of course you need to know where you can spend $1,776 on a tasting menu - and the ultra-cheap places where you may be forced to dine after spending that amount of money on one dinner.

    Burgers

    Spendy: Sure, 2941 scaled back to a bistro a while back - but chef Bertrand Chemel has fine dining in the blood, and we're more than okay with that. His decadent Daffy burger is legendary, a patty of freshly ground duck topped with seared foie gras and served with frites and housemade onion agrodolce ($19). 

    Budget: With so many amazing choices, it's like picking a favorite child. Five Guys, Shake Shack, BGR - we love 'em all. But as we consider all of the outstanding burgers on the DC landscape, we suddenly find ourselves craving a $7 sloppy Spike's Sunnyside topped with cheese, bacon and egg from Good Stuff Eatery. The only downsides here can be the waits on weekends and the inconsistent fries. 

    More Here



  • Meet D.C. chef Spike Mendelsohn


    Meet D.C. Chef Spike Mendelsohn


    Spike Mendelsohn is the chef and owner of Good Stuff Eatery, Béarnaise and We, The Pizza in Washington D.C. Mendelsohn's newest restaurant, Béarnaise, opened in Washington's Capitol Hill neighborhood in the summer of 2013. Chef Spike, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, trained under icons such as Gerard Boyer in Reims, France; Thomas Keller of The French Laundry and Bouchon in Napa Valley, California; and Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque and Drew Neiporent's Mai House in New York City. At Béarnaise, Mendelsohn returns to his roots of classical French cuisine with a nod to the quintessentially French steak frites. Chef Spike debuted on television as a contestant of Bravo's hit series Top Chef Chicago. He's also appeared on numerous other shows, including Bravo's Life After Top Chef and Top Chef All Stars, Food Network's Iron Chef America and Spike TV's Bar Rescue.

    We ask Chef Spike about his work and travels.

    What's your favorite food destination?

    Vietnam. I've spent a lot of my time traveling and cooking in Vietnam. The food is always French, vibrant and delicious. The street food is among the best in the world.

    Where and what was the best meal you've ever eaten?

    La Cabane à Sucre Au Pied de Cochon. Everything on the menu at the Sugar Shack is epic and playful.

    Where is one place that's specifically influenced your cooking and how?

    France. I spent a year cooking for Chef Gérard Boyer in Reims at Les Crayères. The classic training gave me structure and an appreciation for French cuisine. It heavily motivated me to open up my new French bistro Béarnaise in Washington, D.C.

    Do you have a favorite hotel?

    Hotel Le St-James, Montreal

    What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten?

    I cooked, and reluctantly ate, a rice paddy rat in Vietnam. It is traditional, but not my kind of thing.

    What's the one thing people need to experience in your city?

    D.C. is full of amazing markets. Spending an afternoon strolling through Eastern Market is a must for anyone in D.C. It is full of great local finds.

    What do you never leave home without?

    I never leave home without my passport and green card. Unfortunately, I have forgotten those before and I have vowed to never experience that headache again.

    What's your go-to drink?

    Red Stripe beer.

    What's the most unexpected place you've traveled to and how did you wind up there?

    I spent some time in Hong Kong. It was due to an unexpected layover. Thirty-six hours there gave me a tiny taste of what Hong Kong has to offer. I am excited to return.

    Where's the coolest place you've served a meal?

    I had a shockingly delicious meal on a train in the Swiss Alps. You never know where you might find great food and service.

    What's your best "lost in translation" where things went horribly or comically awry?

    Every conversation with my father turns into a "lost in translation" scenario.

    What's the most indulgent thing you've ever treated yourself to while traveling?

    I am a spa junkie. I'm more than happy to find a spa, escape and indulge. Restaurants are stressful, so having time to unwind is a gift.

    What are you picky about when traveling?

    I'm picky about my hotels. I'll splurge on the right place to stay.

    What would we be surprised to find in your suitcase?

    A knife -- it is an occupational habit. Sometimes TSA is surprised, too.

    What's left on your travel bucket list?

    My big dream trip is the Galapagos. I'd love to go on the National Geographic expedition tour and see the natural wildlife and beauty.



  • 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 umterps.com or by calling 1-800-IM-A-TERP.




  • Hungry Hippo: A juicy, round burger fit for the Oval Office

    Hungry Hippo: A juicy, round burger fit for the Oval Office

    by The GW Hatchet

    This post was written by Hatchet reporter David Harvey.

    When you get sick of eating the Whole Foods hot bar, try one of these dishes you brushed past while you were dining out. The Hatchet sets out to find the dishes every GW student should try before they graduate.

    Dish #2: The Prez Obama Burger at Good Stuff Eatery

    While New Yorkers at GW might moan that D.C. lacks in quality pizza, they fail to realize that D.C. is not a pizza town: It is a burger town. Five Guys and BGR The Burger Joint got their start in here, and now Spike Mendelsohn’s D.C. burger project – Good Stuff Eatery – has turned into a District favorite.

    The best burgers are all about the quality of meat, and Good Stuff Eatery’s is grown locally and always fresh. Mendelsohn created the Prez Obama burger ($6.98) was created by Mendelsohn during the 2008 election to compete with the McCain Burger.

    The Prez Obama burger fashions smoked applewood bacon cut it up perfectly so it doesn’t poke out of the burger (unlike Bobby’s Burger Palace) or fall out (unlike Burger Tap and Shake), red onion marmalade, Roquefort Cheese, a kind of blue cheese made from sheep’s milk, and a house-made horseradish mayo.

    “We chose the toppings for the Prez Obama burger based on what we thought a Chicago guy might want,” Mendelsohn said, adding that his favorite topping is the red marmalade.“It gives the burger the sweetness and tanginess that takes it from ordinary to good stuff.”

    To make this an amazing burger experience, try the Spike’s Village Fries ($2.49) which are topped with thyme and rosemary. These fries are perfect for dipping in their many flavored mayonnaise, like my personal favorite, the chipotle pesto mayonnaise.

    Still hungry? The Milky Way Malt ($5.45) milkshake has a little chocolate nougat crunch inside, so every few sips you get a pleasant surprise.

    While you can’t beat the magic of their original Capitol Hill location, a new location opened in Georgetown – and as an added bonus, will soon start accepting GWorld.

  • The Casual Chef

    November 2013 Issue: The Casual Chef

    Cathy Mendelsohn, owner of Good Stuff Eatery, explains why she hires a culinary school graduate to work in every one of her restaurants. 

  • A Conversation with Chef Spike Mendelsohn


    Examiner.com is very proud to welcome Chef Spike Mendelsohn to the latest edition of “A Conversation.”

    This accomplished Washington, D.C.-based chef runs three popular eateries in our nation’s capital: Good Stuff Eatery, Béarnaise and We, The Pizza.

    His skills as a culinary master were put to the test as he squared off against several of his peers in two seasons of Top Chef and faced the tedious challenges of the Chairman in two seasons of The Next Iron Chef.

    Besides his television appearances and running his family’s restaurants, Chef Mendelsohn also co-wrote "The Good Stuff Cookbook" with his sister, Micheline, which showcased several of the restaurant’s signature dishes that ranged from burgers and fries to shakes and desserts.

    In this edition of A Conversation, Chef Mendelsohn talked about his experiences on both shows, the most important qualities that he looks for in employees and shared his creative process behind creating a dish.

    Jacob Elyachar: When did you get your first taste of the culinary world?
    Chef Spike Mendelsohn: The first time I got to experience the restaurant industry was when I was 12-years-old. I washed dishes for my parents’ restaurant. It was a handful too because all the servers dumped their dirty trays right on top of me pretty much. It was not necessarily the job I wanted, but it was the one I got.

    JE: What were some of the important lessons that you learned that helped you solidify your career?
    CSM: One lesson that I learned was that if you do not know how to do the job yourself, then how are you going to teach someone that job? For example, if I did not wash dishes or mop floors at some point in my career, then how was I going to expect my employees to do the same? It is very important to do everyone’s jobs both inside and outside of the kitchen.

    JE: How has your experiences on “Top Chef” and “The Next Iron Chef” helped you grow as a culinary master?
    CSM: It was an honor to compete amongst some of the chefs and to have the chance to learn from them. In this business, there is always something to learn. That is a very honorable thing that both of those shows bring to the table.

    JE: Did you have any favorite challenges?
    CSM: My favorite challenge has to be when I competed on the original Chicago season of Top Chef. I had to masticate these huge beef ribs into three small cups of meat and it was the most rewarding time being on the show. The challenge also reminded me where I came from because both of my grandfathers were butchers and I have always been around it.

    JE: When you are not on TV, you help your family with their three different restaurants: Good Stuff Eatery, Béarnaise and We, The Pizza. What are some of the similarities and differences between all three restaurants?
    CSM: I think that the similarity for all three restaurants is the philosophy of food: simple menus but done very differently and locally. We have fun with our concepts and we do not take ourselves too seriously. The major differences are the themes of each restaurant. We, the Pizza is a pizza joint, while Béarnaise focuses on classic French food and the Good Stuff Eatery focuses on the nostalgia of American favorites.

    JE: Some of my readers are aspiring chefs and are looking to go into the restaurant industry. What are some of the most important qualities that you look at when you hire employees?
    CSM: When I hire employees, I look to see if they have a great work ethic and look to see if they have a great attitude. I think anyone can step into a kitchen as long as they are willing to work very hard. They also need to be able to not take themselves so seriously and learn how to have fun.

    JE: Could you share how you create a dish from conception to table with my readers?
    CSM: I get inspired throughout the day. When I am not cooking, I am spending a good majority of my time coming up with new menu items. It is always a fun process. For instance, I just came up with a special involving pig’s feet. All three restaurants had a different dish highlighting pig’s feet. I thought about the texture of pig’s feet and thought that making it crispy would be a great idea.

    To the dish, I added sautéed leeks, more pork and bacon plus some mustard, which has some tanginess to cut down the fat of the crispy pig’s feet. Then, I wanted to play off of all of the richness in the dish, so I served it with pickled vegetables. I always try to use balance when coming up with a dish. If I had a dish that is fatty, it will always be paired with something acidic or pickled.

    JE: You collaborated with your sister, Micheline, on “The Good Stuff Cookbook.” How important was it to showcase your diversity in your cookbook?
    CSM: The cookbook’s main purpose was not really about showing off our diversity as chefs, it was about showing what the Good Stuff Eatery was about. We touched on the family aspect of the restaurant and the meaning that Good Stuff Eatery has to us. There are a lot of family recipes that used to belong to my uncles and my grandfathers. Our family’s past helped me reunite with my family after years and years of doing our own thing to come together. All of us combined our expertise on fine dining and fast food together to create something that was easygoing, and we had a lot of fun with it. To be able to have a cookbook that gave readers…an inside look into my family’s creative process was probably the most meaningful accomplishment in my career.

    JE: If you had the chance to meet with aspiring chefs who want to go into the restaurant industry or the culinary world, what advice would you share with them?
    CSM: My advice to aspiring chefs is before they do any culinary school and spend a lot of money is to get a job in the business. Whether it is in one of your favorite restaurants or a restaurant that peaks your curiosity, work for a year straight before you commit your life to the industry. This is a very grueling business and people like to fantasize that it is not. I want to make sure that they know what they are getting themselves into because it is not glamorous as they imagined it would be.

  • Discover the Food Scene in Washington DC


    Carrying the prestigious title of the capital of the United States, Washington DC is home to many of the country’s treasured monuments, memorials and buildings. However, right alongside these impressive structures is Washington’s dynamic food scene. Bursting with creative cafes, lively restaurants and good old fashioned eateries, it seems Washington has embraced a culture of feasting. From American staples to the sweetest of treats, Washington DC will delight foodies of all ages.

    Here is our list of top spots in Washington DC to satisfy those hunger pains.

    Committed to freshness, fellowship and friendliness, the Good Stuff Eatery celebrates true American fare. This is the place to go to enjoy handmade burgers, hand cut fries and hand spun ice cream shakes. The restaurant’s farmhouse burgers are served with red tomatoes, onion, crisp lettuce and pickles topped with a spoonful of Good Stuff Sauce, on a freshly baked Pennsylvania Dutch bun. However it’s the signature shakes that keep people talking, in particular the popular Toasted Marshmallow Shake. This creamy drink combines the taste of campfire s’mores with custard, a hint of sour cream and vanilla, finished off with a delicious charred marshmallow. Other milkshakes flavours on the menu include the Milky Way Melt, Salty Caramel Kiss and Vietnamese Coffee.


  • 5 Adult Milkshakes to Try Now

    So far, this summer has seen the freedom of Lindsay Lohan, the return of Breaking Bad (thankgodthankgodthankgod), Anthony Weiner (seriously, we are done with you) and the birth of a child on the platform at L’Enfant Plaza.

    Add to the frizzy hair, forehead acne, pit stains, and all-around sweaty dishevelment that we endure annually, we totally deserve a treat (or five).  And those treats are called milkshakes. With booze.  They make everyone feel better. Celebrate the end of summer with these shaketails around the District:

    ...

    And for those of you who just want an unadulterated milkshake in its virgin state because they-are-just-fine-the-way-they-are-meant-to-be-damnit, there’s the heavenly Toasted Marshmallow and Red Velvet ($5.45, pictured) milkshakes from Good Stuff Eatery.


  • New noms to beat the Leo’s blues


    With summer over, Hoyas will descend on campus ready to figure out how best to avoid Leo’s while also avoiding starvation. Lucky, Georgetown restaurateurs provided a solution. M Street boasts an ample selection of Zagat-rated restaurants that you can explore, but, for those looking for a quick meal (and maybe some munchies), many new selections made their way in over the summer.

    Hillterns are already familiar with the Good Stuff Eatery, which has a location on Capitol Hill. Newly opened this summer, the M Street location of Good Stuff is looking like a force to be reckoned with. They have a sizable selection of burgers, including a gloriously unhealthy vegetarian choice that comes with a deep-fried, cheese-stuffed mushroom patty. They’ve also got some delicious fries, seasoned to perfection, with dip options from ketchup to Sriracha mayonnaise. Then, of course, there are the shakes. Handspun and topped with a scoop of homemade whipped cream, the shake may just be worth the $6 you drop for it. Among their quirky flavors are the Toasted Marshmallow, Soursop Hop Strawberry, and Salty Caramel Kiss.


  • Good Stuff Eatery Opening Monday in Georgetown


    Georgetown Patch

    Good Stuff Eatery will open its Georgetown restaurant Monday at 3291 M St NW, its third DC-area location.

    “We are thrilled to be opening our third location in such a dynamic and community centric neighborhood,” Chef Spike Mendelsohn said in a press release.

    The restaurant's menu includes a variety of burgers as well as hand-cut fries and handspun shakes.

    Special features of the Georgetown location of Good Stuff Eatery include an entire wall made of reclaimed barn wood from Maryland. Additionally the restaurants "Creamery" will be located on the second level visible from the 50 seats available for customers. The in-house creamery will be churning homemade custard daily for milkshakes.

    The new location opens about five years after Mendelsohn's first, which is located on Capitol Hill. The second restaurant opened in Crystal City in 2012.


  • Good Stuff Eatery's Georgetown Location to Open Monday

    DCist

    The Georgetown location of Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery will open on Monday, just over two years after the expansion was announced.

    Good Stuff Eatery opened on Capitol Hill in 2008 and expanded to Crystal City in Arlington. last year. The Georgetown store, located at 3291 M Street NW, will open its doors Monday, Mendelsohn said in a tweet.

    During his time in D.C., Mendelsohn, one of the many Top Chef alumni who calls the city home, has also opened We, The Pizza and, more recently, Béarnaise.


  • Good Stuff Eatery Opening Late July in Georgetown

    Georgetown Patch

    Good Stuff Eatery could be open in Georgetown by late July.

    The latest restaurant location for Chef Spike Mendelsohn is located at 3291 M St. NW in Georgetown.

    Signs at the front door announce that they are hiring and staff said they expect to bring on 30 or possibly more employees to run what they anticipate will be a very busy location.

  • Examiner: Good Stuff Eatery

    Examiner 

    Good Stuff Eatery takes the old fashioned burgers, shakes and floats and turns it into a deliciously hip place to eat! With two locations: Capitol Hill and Crystal City and open from 11am-11pm you can satiate your burgers and fries hankering fairly quickly!

    Chef Spike Mendelsohn from Top Chef has really created a nice niche especially at the Capitol Hill location, with his other restaurant We, the Pizza right next door. At the Capitol Hill location, the crux of the dining and the bathrooms are located up the stairs on the second level, so be mindful of baby strollers or wheelchairs.

    A short order eatery, you wait in line to place and pay for your order and salivate over the scent of the food being made to order. A simple menu with a few handcrafted burgers and then a handful of original burgers are sure to meet any burger lovers’ specific desire. Trying to stick to a diet? Not a problem here, any burger can be requested as “shun the bun” and it will be lettuce wrapped. Any burger can be substituted with grilled chicken as well as a turkey burger and vegetarian burger option on the menu too. If that still isn’t enough, Good Stuff offers four salads that can be personalized to no end! The sides are simple yet dynamic; Spikes Village Fries, Sunny’s Hand Cut Fries, Uncle D’s Famous Chili, and Cliff’s Homegrown Vidalia Onion Petals allow diners to tailor their meal.

    Colletti’s Smokehouse Burger ($6.98) was smoky, sweet and delicious. The handmade burger patty was tender, flavorful and juicy, and the chipotle BBQ sauce added a nice sweetness against the sweet undertones of the Applewood bacon. Paired with Spike’s Village Snack Fry ($2.49) hand cut fries topped with thyme, rosemary, and sea salt; this was a match made in heaven! With signature ketchups like mango, chipotle, and Sriracha, taste buds experience a layering of flavors that is unmatched.

    After the entrée is done, the grand finale: a handspun shake or a float! The Oreo cookie shake ($5.45) is both refreshing and decadent with real Oreo bits and a whole Oreo to top it off, this is a shake that makes you want to sit back, put your feet up and enjoy! A kids shake “Mini moo” ($3.95) is also available for the kids to enjoy.

    Good Stuff Eatery is exactly that, good stuff! It’s a great way to enjoy “fast food” the old fashioned way and catch up with some old friends and family over a delicious all American meal!


  • City Eats: Little Bites: Spike Mendelsohn’s Steakhouse Burger with Onion Straws

    City Eats's The Plate DC

    by Nevin Martell

    Oftentimes chefs don’t want to cook another meal when they get home after an arduous 12-hour stretch behind the burners. But throwing together a comforting snack to help take the edge off the day is another proposition entirely. These scrumptious nibbles don’t require a degree from the Culinary Institute of America to make, but they’re worthy of winning a Top Chef Quickfire Challenge.

    This week’s recipe comes from Spike Mendelsohn, who has competed in more than a few Quickfire Challenges. The chef-owner of Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza is on the verge of opening his Cap Hill steak frites concept Béarnaise, but was kind enough to take a minute out from his hectic schedule to share this recipe for his Steakhouse Burger with Onion Straws. We’re sure that Tom, Gail and Padma would love it.

    Steakhouse Burger with Onion Straws

    Serves four

    Ingredients:

    • 3 yellow onions
    • 1 pint buttermilk
    • 1 cup flour
    • Salt and pepper
    • Vegetable oil
    • 2 cups mayonnaise
    • ½ cup A1 steak sauce
    • ¾ tsp lemon juice
    • Cremini Mushrooms
    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 beef patties
    • 4 sesame seed buns
    • 4 slices of Swiss cheese

    Ingredients:
  • First prepare the onion straws by cutting yellow onions horizontally into 1/16″ slices. In a large bowl, cover the onion slices in buttermilk. Then, dredge through a mixture of flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Fry in a deep pan filled with vegetable oil.
  • Make the steakhouse sauce by thoroughly combining mayonnaise, A1 steak sauce, and lemon juice, plus salt and pepper to taste.
  • Preheat extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan. Quarter cremini mushrooms. Add mushrooms to pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat. Allow to mushrooms to brown, then reduce and caramelize until there is a rich brown coating. Remove mushrooms from heat and set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet with olive oil to medium. Place beef patties onto skillet. Season the patties with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, flip and then cook for one minute. Add cremini mushrooms on top of the burger and then top each burger with a slice of Swiss cheese. Continue to cook for 2 more minutes for medium-rare doneness. Cover with a lid for the last 30 seconds to melt the cheese.
  • In the meantime, toast your buns. Set aside.
  • To assemble a burger, place one patty on a toasted bun bottom. Top the patty with the onion straws and a dollop of the steakhouse sauce. Cover with the bun top.

  • Nylon: 'Shroom Burger


    ‘SHROOM BURGER BY GOOD STUFF EATERY

    We met Chef Spike Mendelsohn about the time he started his Top Chef fueled rise to recognition. It was long before his restaurants Good Stuff Eatery and We, the Pizza became “must visit” places in Washington DC. It was before the Obamas visited his flagship for the first time (they’re regulars now) and ended up with their own namesake burger. I guess you could say we knew him when…but the topic of today’s nosh-related obsession is his Good Stuff ‘Shroom Burger. If you check out the burger shrine’s menu HERE you’ll notice immediately that every item this place has put together is a signature creation. The ‘Shroom is portabello top stuffed with muenster and cheddar with a flash fried panko crust. The farm fresh lettuce, tomato, and onion accompany this masterpiece atop a a fresh Pennsylvania Dutch bun. This un-burger burger is so good you might consider taking a break from the traditional hamburger forever. As you can see from the picture above the Good Stuff professionals provide an array of incredible signature sauces, which of course are not needed but trying everything is always encouraged by these foodies. Of course no burger is complete with out the companion of Village fries topped with fresh thyme, rosemary, and sea salt. If you’re smart you’ll fast until your visit and conclude the meal with a Toasted Marshmallow shake–it tastes even better than you are imagining it right now. We’re proud of our buddy Spike and his families fast growing food empire, since you can often catch his mom Cathy at the restaurant being all sweet and mom-like to everyone, she’s really rad. Check for locations HERE and plan your trip to Good Stuff immediately!

    By Josh Madden 


  • Where to Eat at Reagan National Airport (DCA)


    People love flying into Reagan National Airport because of the view of the monuments downtown upon landing and the airport's accessibility via its own stop on Washington's Metrorail station. But while being teeny tiny means security lines can move swiftly, it also means there are fewer decent options when it comes to food. Still, there are a few gems within the airport itself and, conveniently, there are several restaurants worth visiting within reach for those travelers facing long layovers and delays.


    Good Stuff Eatery: Tourists may be familiar with chef Spike Mendelsohn from Top Chef and the Food Network. His expanding Good Stuff Eatery chain now includes Crystal City, where customers can get burgers and fries alongside the restaurant's popular milkshakes, which come in such flavors as toasted marshmallow. (2110 Crystal Drive; about 5-10 minutes from airport).


  • 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.

  • Legislative! Judicial! Executive! Bars!

    When most tourists invade our nation's capitol, they want to spend time inside the buildings where "laws" are made. But anyone who knows anything certainly knows that it's far better to view them from the outside, whilst loaded with booze. So we drummed up a dead-simple commuter tour that will take you -- and your drinks -- to the best bars near the three branches of government.




    If you're already having trouble focusing on the Statue of Freedom above the Capitol building rotunda in the distance, lay a solid foundation for the big day ahead by dropping by Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery (just Northwest up the road) for burgers, handcut fries, and OG shakes.


  • Snackshot of the Day: Good Stuff Eatery's 'Shroom Burger


    The 'Shroom Burger from Good Stuff Eatery is better than Shake Shack's, hands down.

    The Daily Meal's editors, contributors, and readers dig into some pretty great restaurants, festivals, and meals. There's not always enough time to give a full review of a restaurant or describe in depth why a place, its food, and the people who prepare it are noteworthy, so Snackshot of the Day does what photographs do best, rely on the image to do most of the talking.

    Today's Snackshot is of Good Stuff Eatery's 'Shroom Burger. Good Stuff is the restaurant of favorite Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn. There are two locations in Washington, D.C. (Capitol Hill and Crystal City, and a third coming soon to Georgetown), and one in the works in Philadelphia. The 'Shroom Burger they serve is among the best out there. It's two big portobellos stuffed with Meunster and American cheese, fried to perfection, and topped with their signature Good Stuff sauce.


  • 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 Break from Red Meat: 12 Non-Beef Burgers to Try


    Sometimes it's time to switch up the burger routine and step away from the beef. From burgers made from poultry to those featuring morsels of the sea, here are some unique burger choices on area menus — no cows allowed. Is a shrimp burger really a burger? It's open to debate, but here are some options for the non-purists.

  • Eater Readers Pick Their 25 Favorite French Fries


  • CITY GUIDES WASHINGTON


    Good Stuff Eatery: Although you aren’t supposed to eat dessert before your meal, we give you permission to go straight for the toasted marshmallow milkshake; just be sure to finish it off with one of their handcrafted burgers. The ‘shroom burger with muenster, cheddar and stuffed portobello mushrooms topped with the secret Good Stuff sauce has our vote.


  • Big Morning Buzz Live: Katie Lee & Spike Mendelsohn's Road Trip Competition

  • U.S. News Talks to Top Chef

  • Chef Spike To Participate In 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll

  • Good Stuff Eatery Coming Soon to Georgetown

    By Examiner

    Good Stuff Eatery will be opening its third location in Georgetown in spring 2013. The burger and shake diner is owned and operated by mother and son Cathy and Spike Mendelsohn. The first location opened in Capitol Hill in July 2008. Good Stuff Eatery is a place where food is handcrafted rather than served in an assembly line.

    A visit at the Capitol Hill location felt like an assembly line. It was packed on Saturday. The line to place an order was long. After placing an order, you wait for the food to arrive in bags on a red tray. While you wait in line, you see how the cooks actually prepare the food. That's a good thing. Seating can be difficult. You may find yourself waiting for an empty table.

    The blazin' barn is a beef burger with pickled daikon and carrots and seasoned with mint, cilantro, and basil thyme. It was good but not much kick. Spike's village fries were the best. The combination of thyme, rosemary and sea salt was delightful. Forgo using ketchup on fries. Spike's village fries are best dipped in Old Bay mayo (which is the best mayo!), sriracha mayo, and sriracha hot chili sauce.

    The toasted marshmallow shake is a good choice It tasted like heaven. One can imaging floating on a cloud while drinking this shake. It would be nice to have the ingredients listed on their shakes.

    There is no need to super size because the food served is a reasonable portion and it's worth the money.


  • Restaurant Spotlight: Good Stuff Eatery

    Burgers and shakes are an easy sell. They’re cheap, delicious, and so wrapped up in Americana that the thought of enjoying either elicits a nostalgic grin. In the Washington, D.C. area, there’s no shortage of burger joints ready to grill up bun-bound, cheese-covered, beefy masterpieces. It takes something special to stand out from the crowd. And Good Stuff Eatery, with its farm-fresh ingredients and fun and tasty burger recipes, has found a way to distinguish itself.

    The growing venture, the brainchild of “Top Chef” alum Spike Mendelsohn, put down roots in Crystal City last summer after the 2008 opening of its flagship Capitol Hill location (and a Georgetown spot is expected soon).

    On a late weekend evening at the Crystal City location, customers fill the restaurant, chatting between burger bites over the sound of upbeat tunes and the sizzle of the grill. The restaurant is urban-loft-meets-rural-barn. The grill sits behind a long, stainless steel counter that runs parallel to a large farmhouse-style communal table. Over the dining area, ceiling joists suggest the shape of a barn, but the comically oversized cowbell emblazoned with the signature Good Stuff cow logo hanging above the soda fountain area says it loudly. But the restaurant’s “not far from the farm” motto goes beyond décor.

    One bite of the Farmhouse Burger ($5.95) says it all. The lettuce and onion slices are crisp, the tomato is flavorful, and it’s all undeniably fresh. But the toppings are just an accent to a well-seasoned, well-grilled beef patty. Topped with a bit of house special sauce, the Farmhouse Burger is quality in simplicity (but adding some American cheese or Applewood bacon for a few cents more won’t hurt).

    For diners looking for more fun on their bun, the Original Burgers selection offers 10 clever creations. The Prez Obama Burger ($6.98) shows the care Good Stuff takes in balancing the flavors of its toppings. The horseradish sauce could easily be too overpowering, but instead it gives the burger just a breath of heat. The onion marmalade could be too sweet, but it’s tempered by tangy Roquefort cheese and savory, crunchy Applewood bacon. It’s all combined atop a delicious beef patty and within a pillowy potato roll that’s sauce-soaked at the edges but still clinging on to this mighty burger creation. Other burger feats follow: a Steakhouse Burger that isn’t dominated by onion straws or sauce ($7.25), and the Blazin’ Barn ($6.98) that combines pickled daikon and carrots and herbs with spicy mayonnaise for a light and fresh burger that packs potent heat.

    Burgers and fries are a match made, and Good Stuff doesn’t disappoint in the French fry category. The hand-cut fries are offered up two ways: Sunny’s Handcut Fries ($3.69), simply fried and sea-salt dusted, and the Spike’s Village Fries ($3.79), which gets almost as creative with toppings as the burgers. Here, fresh thyme, rosemary, and sea salt combine for a blend whose herby aroma is unmistakable, even if it’s buried deep in a take-away bag. It’s a pleasant way to dress up the fries, which are just crispy enough and fried to a light brown. The dipping bar is an added bonus, and goes far beyond the standard ketchup and mustard (think chipotle mayonnaise, Old Bay mayonnaise, and the list goes on).

    Any burger can become a meal for a few dollars more with a snack-sized portion of either of the fries and a small shake, an excellent way to sample the restaurant’s hand-spun milkshakes. Vanilla and chocolate are covered, but with options like Salty Caramel Kiss and Toasted Marshmallow, it’s hard to stick with the classics. The honest, rich cream flavor comes through in these thick shakes, and the dollop of whipped cream is – like fun toppings on a stellar burger and good food made with great ingredients – icing on the cake.

    Good Stuff Eatery is located at 2110 Crystal Drive, Arlington. For more information, call 703-415-4663 or visit goodstuffeatery.com/crystal-city. Restaurant hours are Monday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.


  • We Swear to Uphold Massive Amounts of Burger Consumption

    We’ve been chowing down on these suckers for years now and even after all our conquests, it’s still one of our top picks. And since there’s now a Crystal City joint to satiate our fix (not to mention, a G-Town spot on the way), our consumption levels are at an all-time high.

    Screw term limits– Prez Obama burgers for life.

    Read more 


  • BILB: PREZ OBAMA EDITION

    In honor of the presidential inauguration Sunday and the festivities today, we’re highlighting one of our favorite burger concoctions in D.C.: the Prez Obama burger from Good Stuff Eatery.

    It made its debut back in 2008 when Spike’s beefy creations for Obama and McCain went bun-to-bun against each other in Good Stuff’s own burger election. Much like the real deal, the Obama burger won in a landslide and it soon became a permanent addition to the Good Stuff lineup.

    It’s not a real attractive thing but then again none of Good Stuff’s burgers are all that pretty. Fortunately, looks don’t coincide with taste. The toppings come together with the beef in a gooey, sloppy hot mess, but damn, it’s a hell of a delicious hot mess.

    More here

  • 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;


  • Beyond Obama's oath, what to see and taste in DC


    ___

    Where to Eat

    Restaurants across the city will brag that the president and first lady have dined in them. Tourism officials have put together an itinerary for visitors to "Play in President Obama's Backyard" with some of their favorite dining spots.

    Organic eatery Restaurant Nora, Blue Duck Tavern and BLT Steak have all been Obama picks for date nights. During the campaign, the president took supporters from battleground states to dinner in the hip H Street Northeast neighborhood.

    For a quicker meal, the president and first lady have been known to grab a burger at Chef Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill or at Five Guys. The president's favorite pizza is said to be the St. Louis-based District of Pi, which opened a spot in downtown Washington after he moved to the White House.

    http://washington.org/dc-itinerary/dc-itinerary-play-president-obamas-backyard


  • Cayman Cookout: The food fest circuit's hottest ticket Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/

    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.



  • An inauguration visitor’s guide to D.C. food, drink and sightseeing

    You can also eat Obama-inspired meals: the Obama Burger, a creation of Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn, at his Capitol Hill burger and shake restaurant Good Stuff Eatery, pays homage to Obama’s highbrow taste with onion marmalade, roquefort cheese and horseradish mayo.


  • DIY Inauguration Party: The Best Spots to Get Deep-Dish, Burgers, and Other On-Theme Treat

    Missing the big bucks and black-tie gear required to attend a presidential ball? That shouldn’t stop you from getting into the spirit over inauguration weekend. Grab a few friends and party like the 47 percent—entitled to (delicious) food and drink. We’ve rounded up White House-themed eats and sips for throwing your own festivities, from gallons of Ben’s chili to Chicago dogs to stand-in brews for the President’s much-prized Honey Ale.

    Burgers

    If this balmy weather holds up, you may just be grilling on your inauguration/Martin Luther King Day off. Even if you’re pan-frying your patties, follow tips for the perfect burger from Ray’s Hell-Burger owner Michael Landrum, who has hosted the President on two occasions. Feel more like carrying out for the crowd? Make like the First Family and pick up sandwiches at Good Stuff Eatery, where the likes of a bacon-and-Roquefort-topped Prez Obama Burger can be had to stay or go.


  • Spike Mendelsohn's unique holiday recipes


    HOW IS LIFE AFTER TOP CHEF?
    Celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn talks cooking, holidays, life after Top Chef and more. Find out what he's been up to since becoming a fan favorite.

    You probably remember Spike Mendelsohn from Top Chef, but he's been very busy since his season 4 appearance. You can now find him starring in Bravo's Life After Top Chef. He was a recent competitor on Food Network's Next Iron Chef.

    And if multiple television shows aren't enough, he's also opening a new restaurant, Bearnaise, in Washington D.C. Still, Spike had time to talk to us about all this and more, sharing some holiday cooking advice and a few one-of-a-kind recipes, featuring Captain Morgan Rum that are sure to impress your holiday guests.

    SheKnows: How is life different after Top Chef? What's changed?

    Spike Mendelsohn: Life after Top Chef has been a complete turnaround for me. Before I went on the show, I was cooking in a New York City kitchen, running from one restaurant to the next. Going on the show gave me the opportunity to gain some notoriety and be able to have some marketing with my name. It opened the gates to so many opportunities. Now I own my own restaurants, and I'm opening a new one soon. I get to travel the world, participate in food festivals and do all sorts of charity events. It truly made my career, and when you're presented with an opportunity, you just have to take it and run with it. Top Chef gave me that opportunity, not only for me, but for everyone around me. It helped support my entire family, my friends. It's something truly unique.

    SK: When you're busy filming, what do you miss most about being in the restaurant?"I come from a classic French background, where the importance of really delicious sauces is at the forefront of food."

    SM: When I'm busy filming, I miss yelling at people in the kitchen (laughs). I miss the hustle, the rush of service and burning myself and having to put food out on time. Being on the line is an adrenaline rush and is something you wouldn't understand unless you were a chef. That's part of the reason why I'm opening a new restaurant. It allows me to be in the kitchen a lot more, as opposed to the fast casual restaurants I've been doing. I've been in the kitchen since I was 13 years old, so having a break these past three years from the everyday kitchen life has been really unique and a great learning experience. I've gotten to learn the business a lot more and how to build a restaurant. I enjoy both sides now.

    SK: What is the concept for Bearnaise?

    SM: Bearnaise is a classical steak frites restaurant out of Paris. It's a prix fixe menu that really takes the essence of a Parisian-style steak frites restaurant and replicates it in the United States. We're changing it up a little bit to provide more options and do a couple different things, but for the most part it's going to stay pretty classic. For instance, we're going to have French onion soup, classic walnut salad, different types of steak frites with all sorts of sauces. It'll be a steak frites place with my take on it, so I'm pretty excited about it.

    SK: What tips would you give home cooks for making holiday dinners less stressful?

    SM: My biggest tip is that you don't have to do it all by yourself. Ask your guests to bring something to eliminate some of the items off your prep list. If you want a sweet potato casserole or some mashed potatoes, ask someone to make it and bring it with them. I think that makes it a little more interactive and fun too, when people get to bring their sides and their sauces. Also, don't wait until the last minute to prep everything. Think about leftovers and how great those taste. Making things a day or two ahead always helps, and that food will only get better with time. Throw the stuffing together the day before and have it already made, so when you wake up in the morning you can just reheat it.

    SK: What are your favorite holiday dishes to prepare?

    SM: My favorite holiday dish to prepare is stuffing. I think they're so delicious, and I also love to make sauces. I'm known for my holiday sauces, like the gravy, red wine sauces and reductions. I come from a classic French background, where the importance of really delicious sauces is at the forefront of food.

  • NBC Decision 2012: Ragin' Cajun vs. Sharp & Sassy

    View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.



  • Chef Spike on Recipe Rehab

  • The Next Iron Chef: Transformation

    THE CHRON

    The contestants arrive in the kitchen to find the altar is stocked – with canned meats. There is pâté, clams, ham, SPAM… and three sets of cans with question marks on them.  What is this – MYSTERY MEAT!? Will somebody end up with Pink slime?

    Also, why didn’t they do this in a featured foodie locale – say, for example, one of the shuttered BPI plants.

    AB then announces the theme of tonight’s Chairman’s Challenge: redeem canned meats using Transformation.

    In other words, the Iron Chef wannabes have to turn a Steaming Pile o’ Turds into a sweet-smelling bouquet of roses.

    The contestants pick their poison choose their cans. As the winner of last week’s Challenge, Chef Frietag gets theSignificant Advantage of picking her can last. She has the option of stealing someone else’s can, but decides she wants them to fail with what they chose, so she chooses corned beef.

    One hour is put on the clock, and it is time to cook: GO!

    And: cooking happens. In other news:

    Chefs FoamBoy and Spike decide to form an “alliance.” Which the other contestants feel obligated to comment on. The scary thought? These things normally end up on the other Reality TeeVee shows with one member stabbing another in the back. And these contestants? Use real knives.

    Chefs Spike and Falkner explain how important Transformation is to an Iron Chef. Apparently, it is very important.

    Fun Fact: Chef Freitag DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO OPEN A CAN OF CORNED BEEF (“Oh, there’s a key on the bottom of the can! D’oh!“)

    Ding! Cooking is done, and it is time for Tasting and Judgement.

    Chef Falkner (Roast Beef) – First up, Roast Beef with Bordelaise Sauce. The judges like it. No… they LOVE it! I’m guessing there will be no Secret Ingredient Showdown for her this week.

    Chef Freitag (Corned Beef) – Presents her Homage to Corned Beef. Iron Chef Zakarian liked it. But, did sheTransform it? Or was it just a garnish?

    Chef Spike (Vienna Sausage) – He goes Asian again, with a Vietnamese Vienna Sausage Crepe. Simon Majumdar comments that the heat is very pronounced. Chef Spike hits the Room In Which Side-bars Happen to explain that his sauces are never unbalanced. Iron Chef Zakarian: it would have been better “as an omelette.”

    Chef Mehta (Chicken) – He delivers a Chicken Pakora w/curry rice. Donatella Arpaia: it is “perfect.” Iron Chef Zakarian thinks it is a “touch of sheer genius.” Simon Majumdar observes that the “rice is overcooked.” (but, was it Transformed?)

    Chef FoamBoy (Clams) – His dish is an Acqua Pazza with clam cake. Simon Majumdar commends Chef FoamBoy on his good presentation, but says the dish is too salty. So salty, in fact, that he calls for a priest to perform an exorcism on his mouth. Donatella Arpaia and Iron Chef Zakarian agree on the level of saltiness. Mayor Bloomberg shows up with his Food Police and has Chef FoamBoy summarily executed. (OK, that last thing didn’t actually happen. But, it would have been awesome if it had.)

    Chef Appleman (Canned tuna) – He serves up Tuna Three Ways. Iron Chef Zakarian loved it. Donatella Arpaia and Simon Majumdar said it was transformative, but the results weren’t tasty.

    Chef Guarnaschelli (Spiced ham) – She made a Ravioli w/spiced ham, peas, and basil sauce. Simon Majumdar observed that it “looks like Kermit in a blender,” while Iron Chef Zakarian noted that it “tasted better than it looked.” Chef Guarnaschelli is planning her strategy for the Secret Ingredient Showdown.

    And then, Judgment is pronounced.

    Chefs Freitag, Falkner, and Mehta were on the top. Chef Falkner got the W. (Finally! Yea!) Chef Appleman was saved by the shaved tuna. Chef Guarnaschelli’s dish was lacking in flavor. But it was transformative, so sheSurvives To Cook Another Day, as well.

    Poor Chef Spike FoamBoy [thanks to readers/viewers MC and CL for the correction!] – it seems that the judges used the “I” word (“inedible”) when describing his dish. And so, it will be  Chef Spike vs. Chef FoamBoy in theSecret Ingredient Showdown. The Grand Alliance dies before it gets a good start.

    The Secret Ingredient Showdown

    The two chefs will have 30 minutes to create an amazing dish using the secret ingredient, which is… LOBSTER!Allez Cuisine! Let The Cooking Begin!

    As she puts her shattered nervous system back together, Chef Guarnaschelli quips that “This is not s Showdown – it’s a Bro-down.”

    Chef Spike, on his strategery for this segment: “I want to make the food that makes people want to go home and have the sex. Or go to sleep.”

    Chef FoamBoy breaks out the Liquid Nitrogen to cool off his hibiscus mixture. Because all about the Molecular Gastronomy, he is. Which is a good thing, as it is very Transformative.

    Chef Spike starts piping his lobster noodle into the boiling water. Will it work, or is he going to be in hot water with the judges? It works!

    Chefs FoamBoy and Spike decide to take a major risk, and plate their dishes USING THE SAME PLATE. Will they both be sent home? They seem to hope that both of them will be safe. However, it is “Iron Chef” – not “Iron Chefsssssss!”

    The other contestants, they are not amused. One of them says something about “disrespectful” and “breaking the rules.” AB looks at the whole thing, and his face gets even longer than usual. But, he notes that it will make presentation of the dishes to the judges much easier.

    Chef Spike presents his Lobster Laksa. Iron Chef Zakarian noted he “used it [lobster] in a global fashion.”Doantella said it was “well balanced.” Simon thought it was “really nourishing.”

    Chef FoamBoy presents his Lobster salad w/mango, black bean sauce and hibiscus. Simon Majumdar thought the lobster & fruit worked well, even though they shouldn’t. Iron Chef Zakarian and Donatella Arpaia also liked it.

    So, it is on to the $64,000 question: Do they hang get judged together, or separately?

    Iron Chef Zakarian thought they (the judges) got played by FoamBoy and Spike. Donatella Arpaia thought it showed arrogance on their part. AB said he would talk to the Chairman. Simon Majumdar thought that would be a good idea.

    My bet is that both of them are 86ed.

    Apparently, the Chairman had other ideas. AB coldly informs Spike and FoamBoy that the judges were not pleased. However, they had to render a decision: in this instance, they chose to reward creativity, so Chef FoamBoy Survives To Cook Another Day. However, AB says, the other contestants won’t be having his back in the future. (Unless it is for target practice, perhaps?)

    Which means that, by process of elimination, Chef Spike Will Not Be The Next Iron Chef.

    As Chef Spike takes his leave, Chef FoamBoy quips: “And then there were six.” The other contestants give him a dirty look.

    Next week, on The Next Iron Chef: it’s the Auction Challenge, redux. In a hangar. Cow heads are seen. And bid upon. The whole thing should prove completely disgusting. Which is as it should be.


  • 'Next Iron Chef' recap: The bromance wins out


    By Rene Lynch
    November 26, 2012, 9:30 a.m.

    "The Next Iron Chef" judges were clutching their pearls and reaching for the smelling salts. Why? Because Spike Mendelsohn and Marcel Vigneron dared -- dared! -- to make the best of an awful situation. Now, you could argue that the chefs were exhibiting adaptability, creativity and risk-taking, qualities befitting an Iron Chef.

    But that doesn't make for good TV.

    Instead, the judges had their knickers in a twist over the chefs' decision to plate their dishes together.

    The two chefs, who happen to be BFFs, found themselves competing against each other in the secret-ingredient showdown after they both failed miserably in an earlier challenge that required them to transform canned foods into something magical. Spike used his ingredient -- canned sausages -- as the stuffing for a Vietnamese crepe that left the judges underwhelmed.

    That showing was still far better than Marcel's: He had to transform canned clams, and came up with a clam cake that was easily one of the worst things the judges had ever put in their mouths. It was deemed inedible, and overly salty. And Judge Simon Majumdar said he might need a priest to "exorcise my mouth," which has got to be one of the single best insults ever handed down in "Next Iron Chef" history.

    Spike and Marcel were then given a gift -- lobster -- in the secret-ingredient showdown that pitted the two against each other.

    Spike offered a bowl of Lobster Laksa, featuring foamy lobster noodles of all things. They looked gross, but the judges seemed to love them. Marcel came up with the winning dish, a mango and lobster salad with a black bean sauce.

    But what they cooked was almost beside the point: The chefs turned the "Next Iron Chef" world upside down when they decided to plate their dishes together on a single platter.

    I'll pause here so you can fan yourself for a few moments, and recover from this unbelievably disrespectful and unprecedented act of defiance.

    "We're in this together," Spike explained of the plating decision with his bestie, and added: "Iron Chefs embrace risk and we took a huge gamble."

    The judges begged to differ.

    "They're really overly cocky," Donatella Arpaia sniffed. (By that measure, both Nate Appleman and Jehangir Mehta should be heading for the door before the harmless Spike and Marcel.)

    I was waiting for her to scream: "Off with their heads!"

    "I felt like we got played here," said Iron Chef and judge Geoffrey Zakarian (who by the by is my favorite Iron Chef, just in case you were wondering.) Simon called it unbecoming "silliness."

    Do you agree with the judges? Was this single-plating maneuver totally out of bounds?

    I kinda liked it. I considered it a dash of fun by two guys who are outstanding chefs but, really, at the end of the day, know deep down inside they are long shots for the job opening.


  • Last-Minute Thanksgiving Tips From Some of D.C.'s Top Chefs


    There's not much time left before the turkeys, tofurkeys and turduckens start hitting the table. Are you still trying to decide on your side dishes, though? We've got you covered.

    Whether you’re cooking for your S.O. for the first time, or it’s just another Thanksgiving at home with your family, some of Washington’s top chefs are looking out for you.

    Check out some easy ways to cut corners, tips on how to survive the holiday, and -- of course -- plenty of menu suggestions.

    And they didn't forget about leftovers.

    Spike Mendelsohn

    Chef & owner, Good Stuff Eatery & We the Pizza (303-305 Pennsylvania Ave. SE)

    Q: What special dish are you making this Thanksgiving for your family?

    I make a roasted butternut squash soup that my family loves. So that will definitely be on the menu. It's tastes like fall. Use a homemade stock and put a lot of love into it. The key to really hearty, well-developed soups is to take your time and really put heart into it.

    Q: What are your two best tips when it comes to cooking a Thanksgiving meal?

    1. It's OK to cheat a little bit and cut down on your prep time. We all love the idea of a homemade Thanksgiving meal, but no one will know or mind that you ordered already-peeled chestnuts online rather than spend[ing] hours just peeling chestnuts. Your dish is still going to taste delicious and it will allow you more time to unwind and relax with family.

    2. Create your own traditions. Deep fry that turkey. Make a Turkey Day sangria with hard cider. You don't have to stick to those same recipes that Grandma used to make if you are yearning to reach outside the box.


  • Best Top Chef Restaurants

    Since its 2006 debut, Top Chef has turned Tom Colicchio and F&W’s Gail Simmons into food celebrities, introduced Americans to cooking with vending-machine food and created a wave of chef-testants turned restaurateurs, who have become a large and profitable niche in the food industry.—Katherine Sacks


    Good Stuff Eatery; Washington, DC


    Spike Mendelsohn’s Capitol Hill restaurant Good Stuff Eatery gets its name from the words his restaurateur grandfather used to say when biting into a cheeseburger. The former Top Chef: Chicagocontestant also borrowed a few other tips: “We wrap our burgers in wax paper, just like my grandfather did.” The Prez Obama burger (bacon, red onion marmalade, blue cheese and horseradish) is a clear neighborhood favorite, beating out the McCain burger during the restaurant’s 2008 election-inspired contest. Besides classic burgers, the restaurant specializes in herb-tossed fries and toasted-marshmallow milk shakes. For his next project, Mendelsohn is teaming up with sister Micheline to open the brasserie Béarnaise this winter. goodstuffeatery.com



  • Life After Top Chef to Feature Chef Spike Mendelsohn at Washington Capitals Game

    Life After Top Chef, a Bravo Media production that documents the lives of former Top Chef contestants, will feature chef Spike Mendelsohn at a Washington Capitals game in its Wednesday, Nov. 14 episode. The episode, “Mt. Viviani Erupts," will premiere at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

    Mendelsohn attended the April 5, 2012 Capitals vs. Panthers game and participated in intermission activities including riding an Olympia, dressing up as mascot Air Slapshot and participating as a member of the ice crew.

    “Having been a hockey fan my whole life, being able to be a part of the Caps team culture there was a really cool thing and a day I won’t forget," said Mendelsohn. "I hope Top Chef viewers will enjoy watching my experience as much as I enjoyed being there."

    Life After Top Chef documents the lives of four former Top Chef contestants as they reach milestones in both their personal lives and culinary careers. Mendelsohn competed on season four of Bravo’s hit television show Top Chef as well as on Top Chef All-Stars. In 2008 he and his family opened Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill. In Washington D.C., Mendelsohn owns two Good Stuff Eatery locations as well as We, The Pizza.

    In addition to highlighting Mendelsohn at a Capitals game, the Nov. 14 episode profiles the chef and his family as they prepare to open the Crystal City, Va., location of Good Stuff Eatery.


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    ARLINGTON, Va. – Life After Top Chef, a Bravo Media production that documents the lives of former Top Chef contestants, will feature chef Spike Mendelsohn at a Washington Capitals game in its Wednesday, Nov. 14 episode. The episode, “Mt. Viviani Erupts," will premiere at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

    Mendelsohn attended the April 5, 2012 Capitals vs. Panthers game and participated in intermission activities including riding an Olympia, dressing up as mascot Air Slapshot and participating as a member of the ice crew.

    “Having been a hockey fan my whole life, being able to be a part of the Caps team culture there was a really cool thing and a day I won’t forget," said Mendelsohn. "I hope Top Chef viewers will enjoy watching my experience as much as I enjoyed being there."

    Life After Top Chef documents the lives of four former Top Chef contestants as they reach milestones in both their personal lives and culinary careers. Mendelsohn competed on season four of Bravo’s hit television show Top Chef as well as on Top Chef All-Stars. In 2008 he and his family opened Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill. In Washington D.C., Mendelsohn owns two Good Stuff Eatery locations as well as We, The Pizza.

    In addition to highlighting Mendelsohn at a Capitals game, the Nov. 14 episode profiles the chef and his family as they prepare to open the Crystal City, Va., location of Good Stuff Eatery.

    Together with Mendelsohn in Washington, D.C., Life After Top Chef focuses on former contestants Richard Blais in Atlanta, Jen Carroll in Philadelphia and Fabio Viviani in Los Angeles.

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    ARLINGTON, Va. – Life After Top Chef, a Bravo Media production that documents the lives of former Top Chef contestants, will feature chef Spike Mendelsohn at a Washington Capitals game in its Wednesday, Nov. 14 episode. The episode, “Mt. Viviani Erupts," will premiere at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

    Mendelsohn attended the April 5, 2012 Capitals vs. Panthers game and participated in intermission activities including riding an Olympia, dressing up as mascot Air Slapshot and participating as a member of the ice crew.

    “Having been a hockey fan my whole life, being able to be a part of the Caps team culture there was a really cool thing and a day I won’t forget," said Mendelsohn. "I hope Top Chef viewers will enjoy watching my experience as much as I enjoyed being there."

    Life After Top Chef documents the lives of four former Top Chef contestants as they reach milestones in both their personal lives and culinary careers. Mendelsohn competed on season four of Bravo’s hit television show Top Chef as well as on Top Chef All-Stars. In 2008 he and his family opened Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill. In Washington D.C., Mendelsohn owns two Good Stuff Eatery locations as well as We, The Pizza.

    In addition to highlighting Mendelsohn at a Capitals game, the Nov. 14 episode profiles the chef and his family as they prepare to open the Crystal City, Va., location of Good Stuff Eatery.

    Together with Mendelsohn in Washington, D.C., Life After Top Chef focuses on former contestants Richard Blais in Atlanta, Jen Carroll in Philadelphia and Fabio Viviani in Los Angeles.

  • Zagat Names 5 Best Burgers in DC Metro


    Good Stuff Eatery

    Cost: $15

    Former Top Chef contender Spike Mendelsohn is behind this “popular” Capitol Hill counter serve (and newer Crystal City sibling) wooing “celebrities”, “pols” and “policy wonks” with “creative”, “juicy” burgers, “perfectly seasoned” fries and “unbelievably decadent” milkshakes (“heaven in a plastic cup”), all doled out “fast” in upscale-industrial “fast-food” digs; despite “limited” seating, occasional “long” waits and tabs some consider “pricey” for the genre, it’s still usually “jam packed.”


  • Meals On Meals Wheels Features Chef Spike

  • Newsource Elections 2012



    CNN ELECTIONS

    As this election season prepares to wrap up, voters are making decisions, standing up for what they believe in, and voicing their concerns. And why shouldn’t they? Every vote matters, right? But no matter how you feel about foreign policy, healthcare or the debt ceiling, there is one topic that gets unanimous support here in Washington. And that’s food.

    Restaurants throughout the nation’s capital are serving up festive meals and beverages to lighten up the political atmosphere. The only choice one really has to make is, “Sweet or savory?”

    Right down the street from the White House, the Occidental Grill has retrieved the cookie recipes submitted by First Lady Michelle Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, for Family Circle magazine’s quadrennial presidential bake-off.

    According to Chef Rodney Scruggs, the cookie poll is tracking very close to the actual presidential polls. Ann Romney’s cookie pulled its first lead after the first presidential debate, when her husband made some gains in the polls. It’s fluctuated since. Whether guests base their vote on the taste of the cookie or on their actual presidential preference will become apparent after both the cookie contest and the White House race wrap up.

    To follow the results, check out the cookie poll on Occidental’s Twitter feed orFacebook page.

    At Good Stuff Eatery it’s a debate with more red meat. The “Prez Obama Burger” made it’s first appearance on the menu during the 2008 election when it was running against the McCain burger. The Obama burger won by a landslide. After Obama’s presidential win, the restaurant also introduced a health-conscious turkey burger called the “Michelle Melt” that reflects the First Lady’s fitness mission.

    Now, as one of the restaurant’s most popular burgers faces another election year, a different competition has been initiated. Good Stuff Eatery started a competition with burgers inspired by the famously bipartisan couple of Democrat James Carville and Republican Mary Matalin. The burgers will be grilled until Election Day, and results of the poll are updated daily on a board set up inside the restaurant.

    And what happens to the Obama burgers if the President isn’t reelected? Good Stuff says they’ll stay on the menu.

    Winnette McIntosh Ambrose has dubbed her shop near Capitol Hill, The Sweet Lobby, the District’s “political pastry polling headquarters.” She’s offering vanilla bean French macarons emblazoned with elephants, donkeys, Obama and Romney campaign logos and, for those who don’t want to take sides, a simple “Vote 2012” message.  Sweet Lobby has been updating the sales tally on Facebook and Twitter throughout.

    And if you needed any extra incentive to get out and vote Tuesday, McIntosh Ambrose says those sporting an “I Voted,” sticker will be rewarded with a free dessert. Pretty sweet.

    (Photos & text by Samra Khawaja & Karin Caifa)

  • Get Chef Spike's Chinese Chicken and Farro Recipe

    Better Eats

    CHINESE CHICKEN WITH FARRO
    Serves 4
    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 cup farro or wheat berries
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1-inch peeled and minced fresh ginger
    • 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
    • 1/2 pound snow peas, cut on the diagonal
    • 8 green and yellow pattypan squash, chopped small
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1/2 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into small chunks
    • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
     DIRECTIONS
  • To prepare the farro, bring a 2-quart pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the farro, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer until the farro is tender and the grains have split open, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water.
  • Coat a wok or large wide skillet with the oil and place over medium-high heat. Give the oil a minute to heat up, then add the garlic, ginger, and scallions; stir-fry for 30 seconds to a minute until fragrant. Add the snow peas and pattypan squash. Cook, tossing the vegetables, until tender. Move the ingredients to the side of the pan and pour the egg into the center. Scramble the egg lightly, just until set but not brown. Add the chicken, tossing quickly to incorporate. Fold in the cooked farro and toss everything together to combine well, breaking up any clumps with the back of a spatula.
  • Moisten with the soy sauce. Toss the ingredients together to heat through. Spoon the chicken farro out onto a serving platter.
  • Spike Mendelsohn Talks 'Life After Top Chef' and Fall Recipes with Captain Morgan: Intervi

    Foodista

    Spike Mendesohn is one celebrity chef with a lot on his plate. He currently has a reality show that takes a behind-the-scenes look at his family's restaurant business called Life After Top Chef on Bravo. He is a contestant on the latest season of The Next Iron Chef on the Food Network, and he has recently teamed up with Captain Morgan to create fall recipes with their latest formula, Black Spiced Rum.

    I had the chance to speak with Spike about his many ongoing projects. Check out what he had to say about being on Top Chef versus The Next Iron Chef, and what it's like to work with Captain Morgan Rum below!


    What can people expect to see on your new show, Life After Top Chef?

    Well I think people will be really interested to see the team that’s behind me, and it’s family. So people that thought it was just Spike Mendelsohn making everything happen... I think they’ll be surprised that there’s a lot more components to the company and what we’re doing. And working with your family is always something that’s very challenging. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, but working in a family can be really challenging and I think people will be really interested to see that. Most of the time, you have investors or backers, you have strangers that you partner up with. For me, I think I am fortunate enough to make it a family affair and this way, we all work together, we all know each other, we all trust each other. I think it comes off really cool.

    What will we learn about you on Life After Top Chef that we didn’t get to see on Top Chef?

    I think people watch you on a reality show and they judge you on your performance and they judge you on the role you play on the show. And at the end of the day, I really don’t think people know you at all because they can only judge you on what the TV shows. So I think the fact that this is a little bit more about my personal life, people will get to learn things about me that they would have never imagined.

    First and foremost, how close of a family person I really am. Second, that cooking wasn’t really a choice for me, it was something I had to do, it’s something I grew up in. I have a hundred years of family in the restaurant business rooting from Montreal. I think they’ll get to see how and why I became a chef. And you always get people who go, ‘You went on the show to be famous,’ ‘You went on the show to do this or that,’ and I think they’ll see, ‘Hey listen, I was in a kitchen since I was 13-years-old doing that.’

    The last three years of my life was something amazing for me to actually step out of the kitchen and do something different that the business offers, it was something that’s a great pleasure for me. Because before that, I was in the kitchen for nine years straight. So I think I’ve paid my dues and I think people will be able to see that. Hopefully, they’ll enjoy it.

    What excites you most about being on the new season of The Next Iron Chef?

    One thing that excites me the most is that it’s a different network, it’s a different competition show, so it’s less about the drama and more about the food. Although Top Chef is a lot about the food, but they put you in situations that are almost impossible. Whereas, in Iron Chef you only have to cook four dishes and that's for the judges. So you get a lot more time to perfect the food and people can get a lot better of a feel of what your cooking is because you have that time. I think people will get to see the type of food I like to cook a lot more on The Next Iron Chef.

    You’ve also recently teamed up with Captain Morgan Rum. What can you tell us about that partnership?

    Well I can tell you that it’s very exciting. I was very fortunate to partner with Captain Morgan and I have to tell you it’s been a great adventure for me because I really haven’t had the opportunity before to come up with drink recipes and pair them with food recipes. So for me, like I said, this has been a huge, huge adventure. But when I came up with these [recipes]... I was telling people, ‘Hey! I’m going to picture myself as a pirate on a pirate boat in the Caribbean.’ I just had a lot of fun with it.

    And specifically with the fall recipes I came up with, I got to use this new black label Captain Morgan, which is a little bit bolder than the original. It’s something that was really fun to work with because it has some double charred blackened oak in it, it had premium cassia bark and rich clove spice essence. It was truly something unique to work it. It was fun, what can I say, I had a lot of fun with it.

    I’m actually looking at a couple of your Captain Morgan recipes now, like the Black Apple Harvest and the Cream Soda Braised Ribs. How did you come up with these recipes and what makes them unique compared to other fall recipes?

    Well, I’m a chef on the first hand so I am always thinking about seasons and aromas. So, for some reason when I tasted the Captain Morgan Black by itself, I instantly thought of apples and then cinnamon, and then I had applesauce in my refrigerator and I thought it would be really cool if I could come up with a cocktail that has applesauce in it with a little bit of a texture. Everybody thought I was insane. The more people think I’m insane, it motivates me more to prove them wrong.

    So I think I came up with a really delicious drink -- it has some applesauce in it, some cinnamon, some allspice, some nutmeg, a little bit of crushed ginger, some lemon juice, I used apricot liqueur which you don’t have to use if you don’t have it, and obviously Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum. I shook it up in a shaker with ice, poured it through the strainer on the shaker, not a fine one because I still wanted some of the applesauce texture in the drink. I poured it in a glass over ice and I think I came up with a really delicious original drink. I think it’s what this Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum is all about -- something original, making it an adventure and I think that drink is something really unique. I haven’t ever seen someone make a drink with applesauce before so I was kind of proud of myself on that one.

    And then the Cream Soda Braised Ribs -- I think it’s just a great tailgating ingredient, whether you’re homegating or you’re actually out tailgating somewhere. I think it’s a really good recipe. I love the idea of braised ribs with Coca-Cola, but I wanted to do something a little bit different. I braised the ribs in cream soda, which imparted a really nice vanilla flavor in the ribs. And then I glazed them over the barbecue with a little bit of chipotle Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum barbecue sauce. So you have the vanilla tone, you have the sweetness, you have the spiciness from the chipotle, then you have the black spiced rum flavor it in also. So it made for really, really delicious tailgating food.

    You can check out Spike's Black Harvest Apple and Cream Soda Braised Ribs recipeshere.

    What are some tips you can give to people who want use their favorite liqueurs in their holiday recipes?

    I’d have to say to have a lot of fun with it. Be laid back, make it an adventure. I always like to have other people’s opinions, so I always tell people, ‘Invite your friends over.’ Make it an affair so you can bounce ideas off each other. And at the end of the day, don’t make it so intimidating. I feel like people are intimidated by recipes and cookbooks and they feel like they need to follow everything by the ‘T’. Listen, Rome wasn’t built in a day. You can try something and it doesn’t work, you just adjust and it will work the next time. My biggest advice is don’t add so much pressure to yourself and make sure when you’re coming up with these recipes with the liqueurs, do everything in moderation.

    How can people take a classic cocktail and turn it into something new, especially when entertaining and hoping to bring something new to the table?

    I think you can just substitute ingredients. If there’s a recipe for a cocktail that has grapefruit juice or something like that in it and you’ve had it before with the grapefruit juice, well then maybe use apple juice or orange juice or apricot juice or ginger juice. Coming up with recipes is a trial. I think the most important thing people need to realize when they are making cocktails is that it’s really all about balance in a cocktail. So you don’t want it to be too sour, you don’t want it to be too spicy, you don’t want it to be too tangy. So you always want to adjust your recipe and come up with something that is well balanced. At the end of the day, that’s what makes a really good cocktail. And you don’t have to overcompensate. Just use a couple of ingredients, you don’t have to use too much. For example, in mine, you don’t see a whole lot of ingredients in it, there’s a couple different spices to complement the Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum, but at the end of the day, it’s lemon juice, applesauce and Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum. You don’t have to do too much.

    What’s your favorite food and drink trend for this fall and winter season?

    For me, I’ve had the great opportunity to work with Captain Morgan right now, so I’d say try some cocktails with the Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum. I think you’ll be very impressed. It’s bolder, it’s something very unique, the bottle is really sexy so it looks good on the counter. But again, when you’re trying out these cocktails, everything in moderation. So, take it easy.

    As far as food, I think food trends are always evolving and there’s always different things. I think since it’s the fall season, coming up with cool new tailgating recipes is something people can have fun with and try to make it a little bit different than the same old things with wings. Just try to do what I was just talking about, instead of braising ribs with coca-cola try cream soda, do things to make things just a little bit different. Minor adjustments can make all the difference sometimes. I think we’re a generation of foodies, we love trying new things... and I think that’s what you should do during the tailgating season, just try different things.


    Life after Top Chef airs Wednesdays on Bravo at 9 pm EST. The new season of The Next Iron Chef premiers this Sunday at 9 pm EST. For more from Spike, you can check him out on Twitter.

  • Spike Rings NASDAQ Closing Bell

    Watch Here


  • Chef Spike on Bravo TV's Watch What Happens Live

  • Chef Spike on VH1's Big Morning Buzz Live

    VH1

  • Chef Spike on Recipe Rehab

    Better Eats

    Check out the recipe here

  • Make Spike's Fall Turkey Burger and Toasted Pumpkin Marshmallow Shake from the Today Show

    Watch the Segment Here

    There's nothing better than seasonal eats. here, former "Top Chef" star Spike Mendelsohn shares his recipes for a fall turkey burger with caramelized apples and camembert cheese and a yummy pumpkin shake.


  • Top Chefs, Mom Bloggers, Churches, YouTube Foodies and ONE Members Highlight Global Hunger


    WASHINGTON - From celebrity chefs and mom bloggers to churchgoers and YouTube stars, ONE members are mobilizing en masse around the country on World Food Day, October 16, to raise awareness of global hunger and malnutrition. These activities are part of a new campaign from ONE that’s calling on world leaders “to make measurable commitments to reduce chronic malnutrition for 25 million kids by 2016 so they can reach their full potential.”

    As part of the campaign, supporters around the globe are celebrating the sweet potato, an example of a nutritious crop that can help fight chronic malnutrition. Every year, malnutrition is the underlying cause of more than 2.4 million child deaths – or more than one third of all deaths of children under the age of five. ChefsMario Batali, José Andrés, Marcus Samuelsson, Spike Mendelsohn and Hugh Acheson are among dozens of celebrated chefs who will support the campaign by shining a spotlight on the humble sweet potato in the coming months.

    ONE is calling on the public to send a mass, highly-coordinated ‘Heat Tweet’ at 12pm EST on World Food Day to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging her to put global nutrition on the international agenda. (.@StateDept #SecClinton Create a #recipe4change. Put global nutrition on the agenda. 25mm kids are counting on it)

    Already, more than 150,000 people have signed the Nutrition Petition at ONE.org asking world leaders to take concrete action on behalf of the world’s chronically malnourished children.  Everyone is also invited to submit their favorite sweet potato recipes at ONE’s Recipe4Change Cookbook.

    Other World Food Day activities include:

    • Celebrity Chef Events in six cities across the nation include cooking demonstrations and tastings. All are free and open to the public:
  • ATLANTA: Chef Hugh Acheson at the Viking Cooking School at 11:00AM ET.
  • DENVER: Chef Hosea Rosenberg and former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter at the University of Colorado Anschutz Wellness Center at 9:00AM MT.
  • DES MOINES: Chefs Sean Wilson and Hal Jasa are at their restaurant, Proof, at 10:00AM CT
  • NEW YORK CITY: Chef Sam Talbot at the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE) at 11:00AM ET.
  • SAN FRANCISCO: Mom Blogger Amy Graff, Bakers Mindy Canner and Kate Kuckro, andChristine Pelosi are hosting an event at the ING Direct Cafe at 8:30AM PT.
  • WASHINGTON, DC: Chef Spike Mendelsohn at his restaurant, Good Stuff Eatery, at 11:00AM ET. In partnership with Africare and GAIN’s Future Fortified campaign.
    • YouTube Stars - Online, some of the biggest culinary stars of YouTube, such as Betty’s Kitchen,ShowMeTheCurry and The BBQ Pit Boys, are submitting videos with their favorite sweet potato recipes to the ONE YouTube Channel.
    • Faith Events - On October 14th, the Sunday before World Food Day, thousands of church congregants across the country began a six-week journey to learn how small farmers in Africa are lifting themselves out of hunger and poverty by reading and discussing The Last Hunger Season, a best-selling book by acclaimed author Roger Thurow.
    • Funny or Die – The comedy video website is getting the word out with a humorous look at the challenge of changing the world one sweet potato at a time. Meet Claude, the sweet potato intern in the nation’s capital.
    • ONE Moms (and ONE Mums) - Many of ONE’s most engaged members are ‘mom bloggers;’ women who use their extraordinary power to spread awareness of the fight against hunger, extreme poverty, and disease. This month, a group of influential ONE Moms and (ONE Mums from the UK) traveled to Ethiopia to see first-hand how smart, effective U.S. foreign assistance programs, are helping African families lift themselves out of poverty. Check out their remarkable journey at ONE.org/moms.

       ####


  • Burger Bash 2012

    Huffington Post

    At last night's New York City Wine and Food Festival Burger Bash, hosted by Rachael Ray, 28 chefs grilled their burger creations for a ravenous crowd.

    Though we liked the winners in both categories, we had five favorites that we happily would have eaten all night if we had had the room. Good Stuff Eatery's Brit Burger was well-balanced with sharp cheddar and horseradish mayo.



  • Life After Top Chef Premieres October 3; Watch a Preview

  • PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION COCKTAILS & FOOD IN DC: WHERE IT'S AT!

    FROM BYT

    What with the presidential campaigns at our doorstep this week, we figured that, following the old BYT adage "NO MATTER WHAT-YOU'LL WANT TO BE DRINKING" - we'd round up some drink and food specials to make these go down ever so smoothly. You and your hangover for the next month are (more than) welcome.

    PUNDIT BURGERS AT GOOD STUFF EATERY
    Good Stuff Eatery offers a burger ballot in honor of "America's favorite political duo" James Carville (pictured below) and Mary Matalin. Carville's burger comes toasted with roasted creole onion, southern fried pickles, cheddar cheese and a Ragin' Cajun barbeque sauce, while Matalin's sandwich is topped with grilled Portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, tomato, arugula and peppadew pepper mayo.

  • The Next Iron chef: Redemption

    Watch our very own Chef Spike Mendelsohn on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption


    Food Network | Premieres Sunday, November 4, at 9pm Eastern/ 8pm Central

  • Sizing Up Good Stuff’s Election Burger Roster

    By Roll Call 

    Former Rep. David Wu sits outside Good Stuff Eatery on Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast next to a board tallying the score of the restaurant’s Great Burger Debate. At press time, the Ragin’ Cajun was leading the Sharp & Sassy, 480-315. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

    “Top Chef” alumnus Spike Mendelsohn has officially sunk his teeth into the upcoming election.

    The Good Stuff Eatery founder has cooked up a pair of politically themed burgers modeled after campaign surrogates (and real-life spouses) James Carville and Mary Matalin.

    The Ragin’ Cajun looks every bit as menacing as its namesake pundit. The cholesterol bomb is outfitted with a thick, breaded “Creole” onion ring, golden cap of molten cheddar and fabulously vinegary pickle slices. (Warm? Yes. Fried? Not so much.) A zesty chipotle barbecue sauce (could be hotter/smokier) completes the package.

    The Sharp & Sassy tastes more refined, even if properly appreciating it does require getting a little sloppy. Grilled portabellas tumble from the burger as soon as one peels back the wrapper, exposing a patty enrobed in a froth of peppadew pepper-spiked mayo and rapidly reducing goat cheese.

    A GSE spokeswoman said the Democratic and Republican strategists (respectively) were both consulted about the signature sandwiches and were given final approval over each. The burgers were officially unveiled Aug. 24, and the restaurant is carefully tracking which side scores the most orders through Election Day.

    At press time, the Carville construct was leading the makeshift Matalin, 480-315.

    But all that has happened while true partisans were getting their hero worship on in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C.

    “It’s going to be interesting, once everyone’s back from the conventions, to see how these votes change,” a GSE aide said.

  • Life After Top Chef Premieres October 3; Watch a Preview

    From: Eater 

    The fine arts network Bravo has announced the officially official premiere date ofLife After Top Chef: October 3. As previously announced, the show features former cheftestapants Richard Blais in Atlanta, Jen Carroll in Philadelphia (and, as noted by Eater operatives, in Charleston), Spike Mendelsohn in D.C., and Fabio Viviani in Los Angeles. It follows the chefs as they "[open] their own restaurants, [expand] franchises and [establish] themselves as culinary leaders in the food world." Excellent.

    So what has happened to these heroes since they were last on Bravo? The show follows Blais as he tries to balance family time with opening his new Atlanta restaurant, the Spence. Mendelsohn tries to expand his brand while "avoiding ruffling feathers with the Mendelsohn clan." Carroll works on opening her "dream restaurant" Concrete Blonde — which, spoiler alert, has been put on holdwhile she eyes New York City spaces. Apparently Viviani has his eyes on becoming the "male Martha Stewart." Here's a very exciting video preview and the press release:



  • The Best Places to Eat in Washington D.C.

    From: Every Day With Rachael Ray

    On Capitol Hill, Top Chef All-Stars competitor Spike Mendelsohn whips up juicy, hand- crafted burgers at GOOD STUFF EATERY. Spike's Sunnyside comes with a fried egg and bacon; the Michelle Melt, a free-range turkey burger, honors the health-minded first lady, who has visited.



  • Spike Mendelsohn crafts a milkshake inspired by classic campfire s’mores

    From: AP

    Even a poorly executed milkshake still is probably pretty good. But to elevate the classic cool treat to a higher level of indulgence, tips from a milkshake master can help.

    For that, we turn to Spike Mendelsohn, veteran of season four of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and creator of Washington’s Good Stuff Eatery, as famous for its milkshakes — including a to-die-for toasted marshmallow variety — as for its burgers.

    To help usher in summer, Mendelsohn created a shake especially for The Associated Press. Inspired by s’mores, that classic campfire treat of toasted marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate, Mendelsohn picked flavors he hoped would appeal to people all across the country.

    “It’s a shake that everyone can relate to,” he said during a shake-making session at his new Good Stuff location in Crystal City, Va. “S’mores are something everyone had growing up. It’s the kind of shake that puts a smile on people’s faces.”

    To capture the thick, creamy, malt-shop quality of a great shake no matter what the variety, Mendelsohn offered the following tips.

    — Start with frozen custard. Super-thick and richer than ice cream with more butterfat, custard will give your shake a silky texture and stuck-in-the-straw consistency. “To me, it’s the ultimate ingredient,” Mendelsohn says. Frozen custard is available in many grocers, and can be shipped overnight from online creameries. If all else fails, Mendelsohn says, use the highest butterfat ice cream you can find.

    — The right stuff. “What ruins a milkshake is the equipment,” he says. Blenders infuse too much heat and friction where the blade spins, and that will melt your custard, resulting in a watery consistency. Instead, invest in an old-fashioned shake mixer — the kind with the single prong and metal cup — available online for about $30. The metal cup is key, he says, because it keeps all the ingredients cold while they’re being churned.

    — Use a plain vanilla base. “Like with art, you start with a blank, white canvas,” Mendelsohn says. “Use plain vanilla custard and you can add elements that pop.” Toasted marshmallows, malted milk balls, candy, cookies and fruit purees are a good start. The only exception is for chocolate shakes, he says, which should start with chocolate custard.

    — Texture makes your mouth happy. For smooth shakes, such as banana or plain chocolate, you want a super smooth consistency. For cookie shakes, or something with elements like malt balls or coconut, give it a little crunch throughout. “People like chunks,” he says.

    — Garnish with panache. The garnish is the shake’s come on, broadcasting what it’s about and what you can expect from it. For a shake flavored with toasted marshmallows, stick one on top. Strawberry shake? Put a gorgeous piece of fruit on the rim, and maybe drizzle the top with glistening coulis. And every shake needs homemade, hand-whipped, super-thick whipped cream. “Just put a big bazonker on top,” Mendelsohn says.

    Besides the famous toasted marshmallow shake, diners at Mendelsohn’s Good Stuff Eatery can choose from an imaginative variety: Vietnamese coffee, Milky Way malt ball, salty caramel kiss, and of course, the AP s’mores shake. But the chef’s favorite?

    “I still just like chocolate shakes actually,” he says.


  • Inside Good Stuff Eatery, Opening Tonight in Crystal City

    From: Eater

     

    Though word is the restaurant has been soft open the past couple of evenings, tonight is the official opening of Good Stuff Eatery's new Crystal City location. While it's naturally a similar feel to the original Capitol Hill location, there are indeed a few changes at this second spot. Most obviously, the Crystal City restaurant is all on the ground level. But beyond that, it also has a party room, TVs in pretty much every sightline in an attempt to capture the evening crowd, and a whole lot more merchandise from former Top Chef contestant and currentLife After Top Chef star Spike Mendelsohn.

    But there are also some menu changes — that as of now are also effective at the Capitol Hill location. New to the menu are a steakhouse burger toped with roasted crimini mushrooms, onion straws, swiss cheese and a steakhouse menu, as well as a salty caramel kiss milkshake. The ensalada wedge is being replaced with an American wedge topped with bacon, apples, blue cheese, red onion, and apple cider vinegar. They've also added more draft lines to bring it up to six draft beers, such as Batch 19, Peroni, Blue Moon, Miller Lite and more.

    This new location is attempting to showcase the ice cream and milkshakes on the menu at Good Stuff. So they've also installed a 1936 Stanley Knight Bobtail soda fountain for root beer floats. Milkshakes are made right in front of the window so as to tempt passers-by. Oh and the creamery is located a glass room so that kids can see for themselves how the milkshake magic happens. The restaurant officially opens at 5 p.m.


  • Good Stuff Eatery- Crystal City

    From: Food Trucks DC

    Spike can really throw down! Complete with a photo booth, all star dj @Josh Madden and swanky digs - the vibe was definitely great that night. Unfortunately, I don't have a macro lens - so I won't degrade this post by posting blurry pictures of delicious food. First off, let me say the staff was top notch (I don't know if this will be the normal staff at the restaurant). 

    Although, it's been on my "to eat" list for a while - I haven't been to the Good Stuff Eatery at Capitol Hill. That boded well this evening as I was able to come in with a fresh palate and enjoy the food for the very first time. Everything was delicious, but I will say the star for me was the mushroom burger; it had a surprise flavor upon every bite that left me wanting more.

    It doesn't really fit for me to start rating brick and mortar restaurants with this being a food truck blog, but whether you are in the District or in Virginia, do yourself a favor and drop by this Eatery, it's good stuff.

    PHOTOS HERE

  • Good Stuff Eatery Holds Party In Crystal City

    From: ARLNOW


    Spike Mendelsohn brought some glitz and glamour to Crystal City Friday night at the private opening party for his newest Good Stuff Eatery location.

    Read more here.

  • BEEF BRIEF: Spike's Sunnyside

    From: Burger Days 

    We found ourselves on Capitol Hill last week and, naturally, it necessitated a pit stop into a Crew favorite, Good Stuff Eatery.

    We’re longtime fans of Chef Spike’s burgs, and while they’ll never win any beauty contests (by the time you unwrap ‘em from their paper shells, the buns are wrinklier than a Shar Pei), they do our bellies just right. Make no mistake about it, what these burgers lack in aesthetics, they more than make up for with taste. Our favorites of the bunch include the Prez Obama Burger and Good Stuff Melt, though last Friday’s tango with Spike’s Sunnyside –cheddar, bacon, Good Stuff sauce and a runny fried egg– left us feeling messy and more than alright.

    Fortunately we won’t have to make the trek out to Capitol Hill for our Good Stuff fix much longer– a new Crystal City location opens up next month.

  • Bravo's Life After Top Chef to Feature Spike Mendelsohn

    From: Eater

    Today, Bravo announced a new series, Life After Top Chef, which will featureTop Chef's "most beloved former cheftestants," including DC's own Spike Mendelsohn. Yes, the show will follow around Mendelsohn and three other former cheftestapants — Jen Carroll, Richard Blais and Fabio Viviani — "as they reach milestones in their personal lives and culinary careers."

    Of course, Mendelsohn is in the process of expanding Good Stuff Eatery into a mini-empire with a location soon to open in Crystal City and another bound for Georgetown at the end of the year. So that's where he fits in on this series about cheftestapants opening restaurants and "expanding their growing franchises." Head on over to Eater National for more on the show — "one of Bravo's worst-kept secrets" — and other food-related programming in Bravo's announcement.


  • Bravo will follow Chef Spike Mendelsohn for new series

    From: Washington Business Journal 

    Bravo audiences apparently haven't seen enough of Spike Mendelsohn yet.

    After appearing on both "Top Chef" and "Top Chef All-Stars," the Good Stuff Eatery chef will next be profiled in a new Bravo series called "Life After Top Chef," which looks at how former contestants are doing in the industry now. The show was among many in the works that Bravo announced Wednesday.

    Mendelsohn, as readers know, has beenbusy expanding his Good Stuff chain, among other projects. Also slated for the show are Philly's Jen Carroll, Atlanta's Richard Blais and fan favorite Fabio Viviani.

    Air dates for the new show were not released.


  • Washington Capitals, Chef Spike Cook for Charity

    From: NBC 4

    They may be Washington Capitals, but they are Washington Wizards in the kitchen.

    Defensemen Mike Green and Roman Hamrlik along with goaltender Tomas Vokoun joined local chef Spike Mendelsohn of "Top Chef" fame and four auction winners for a cooking lesson at the Old Naval Hospital in D.C.

    The auction winners won the chance to participate in Saturday's lesson with a $11,500 bid at last month's Caps Care Casino Night and Auction. All proceeds went to Washington Capitals Charities.

    Glittarazzi was there to document the lesson and the photos are worth a peek. The final products were probably delicious because Mendelsohn was not the only seasoned chef (or ingredient) present in the kitchen. Green had a burger recipe featured in Mendelsohn's cookbook, while both Hamrlik and Vokoun graduated from culinary school.

    Coming soon from Hamrlik and Vokoun: "Czech Mates." Patent pending.


  • Food Fight: Battle for the Big Gulp

    From: Maxim

    If you gave us the keys to a 7-Eleven, we’d walk out with a stack of lottery  tickets, an armload of forties, and Gummi Worm–induced intestinal cramping. Luckily,  three celebrity chefs came in with us, so we walked out full of three mind-blowing, mouthwatering meals.



    More here

  • Inside Spike Mendelsohn’s home kitchen

    From: Washington Post

    Should he ever build it, Spike Mendelsohn has elaborate plans for his dream kitchen.

    “It’s in Maui, overlooking the ocean,” he says. “It has a huge marble island, gas appliances, a wood-burning oven, a plate warmer, huge sinks and refrigerators, a separate freezer, a great audio system, a full-service bar, a wine room . . . and a waterslide.”


    Read more here


  • SPIKE MENDELSOHN’S ULTIMATE CUBAN SANDWICH SMACKDOWN

    From: Men's Health 

    Tell someone you’re visiting Miami Beach and they’ll say you’ll have to eat a Cuban sandwich. Ask them where at and they’ll usually recommend one of two places: David’s Café or Puerto Sagua.

    To settle the debate once and for all, we asked Spike Mendelsohn, chef of Good Stuff Eatery in Washington D.C. to join us in a sandwich versus sandwich taste test. What does a Capitol resident know about Cuban sandwiches?

    “I grew up in a Spanish restaurant in Saint Petersburg, Florida where there happened to be a lot of Cuban people. We had a Cuban sandwich on the menu that was raved about,” Mendelsohn said. When the craving strikes, he still whips them up, constructing the crisp, savory sandwich with slow-roasted marinated pork, provolone cheese, and baked ham (the recipe below).

    Could the highly touted David’s or Puerto Sagua compare? We provided the mission. Mendelsohn provided the miniature Cadillac.

    VIDEO HERE

  • House Rules

    From: Tablet Mag

    There is kosher and then there is kosher. I have known this truth for years, but last month I learned how much trust enters the axiom when cooking in a private home.

    For the past four years, I have been one of the chairs of a joint fundraiser for DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table, two institutions that fight hunger and poverty in our nation’s capital. Each January, two chefs from across the country are paired up to cook for 20 people in a private home for each event; there are now 20 such dinners in Washington. Most of the food is donated, and all of the profits go straight to the two organizations. This year, for the first time, two couples who observe kashrutin their homes volunteered to host dinners.

    As the person who decides who cooks where, keeping in mind that chefs often like challenges, I selected chefs who had never cooked a kosher meal before. When I telephoned Joe Palma of Eric Ripert’s Westend Bistro and Kaz Okochi of Kaz Sushi Bistro, both located in Washington, D.C., and asked them to cook kosher dinners, each one paused at first. But both of them soon accepted.

    Like all good chefs, they accepted my challenge because they were curious. For them it was like being confronted with bizarre ingredients on a Top Chef challenge—which may explain their choice of partners in their respective kitchens. Although I explained the bare basics ofkashrut before they accepted, I added that they should really talk to their hosts, as everyone has different rules for their own homes. Since we would not be hiring a mashgiach to make sure the food was kosher and cooked in a kosher manner, it was up to the chefs to follow the laws of kashrut as prescribed in each home.

    Okochi, an excellent sushi chef, took his task very seriously and learned which fish were and were not kosher. J.A. Henckels, one of our sponsors, offered him two new sushi knives for the dinner. He also bought new cutting boards, bowls, and sieves to prep the fish at his restaurant. The hosts, Steve Rabinowitz and Laurie Moskowitz, told Okochi that his rice cooker, only used for rice, was fine to use in their home. Rabinowitz, a public-relations specialist, told Okochi that it was easy to make a kosher meal. “All you need to know is what fish and meat you can and cannot use, that you can’t mix milk and meat, information you can get online,” he said. “And then you need to know the rules of the house.”

    Okochi, who was very worried that he would do something wrong, looked at the list of acceptable fish carefully, and then staked out his two dishes. He was cooking with Spike Mendelsohn, a former Top Chef contestant whose father is Jewish and who operates a kosher food truck for the Sixth & I Synagogue in downtown D.C. The two agreed that Mendelsohn would make the main dish and dessert: a French roast with a coconut-milk-and-sweet-potato puree and a red-wine demi glace, and a chocolate mousse with olive oil for dessert. Jeff Morgan, hearing about the fundraiser from another chef, donated his Napa Valley kosher Covenant wines to accompany the dinner.

    For Okochi, it was easy to figure out the kosher rules and find kosher products. But, when a guest informed him a week before the Jan. 22 dinner that she was allergic to all soy products, Okochi called me in a panic. As a Japanese chef, he was planning to use soy sauce and miso paste in his two dishes. “I was originally going to use salmon with soy sauce for everyone,” he explained. “Then I switched to a crudo-type dish of Tai snapper carpaccio with Asian greens, so as not to do two soy preparations.” For his second course, Okochi was planning an off-the-charts-delicious miso-marinated Chilean sea bass, so for the one guest with the soy allergy, he grilled the fish with a Mexican rub. “I knew that Chilean sea bass was really big and I didn’t want to buy a whole one, but thankfully [the hosts] let me buy a cut of it from a seafood market.”

    “If you are hard-core observant, you would buy your fish in a kosher market or buy the whole fish and butcher it yourself,” said Moskowitz, a veteran political organizer. “For us it was OK, we buy cuts of fish.”

    In the end, despite their nerves, the chefs tried to abide by their hosts’ specific rules of kashrutand created a successful meal.

    “They were both very gracious about everything,” said Moskowitz. “Not knowing which bowl to use, you can’t just grab a spatula. It’s difficult, it’s nerve-wracking.”

    For Joe Palma, making his first kosher meal at Roger and Cheri Friedman’s home in Bethesda, Md., was similarly unnerving. “You look at what you do and move back because you are out of your comfort zone,” he said. “It’s nice to be shaken out of your comfort zone every now and then.”

    Palma teamed up with another former Top Chef contestant, Jennifer Carroll of Philadelphia. For their dinner, the Friedmans let the chefs do some of the prep in the Ritz-Carlton kitchen before they came. There, Palma showed me how he prepared Grow and Behold’s kosher, pasture-raised, Black Angus French Roast, a cut of meat from the shoulder similar in taste and texture to angler steak and London broil.

    “To be honest, I thought the meal would be really bad,” he said while preparing meat sauce in a pan. “But I was really pleased with it.”

    For Palma, the difficulty in making a gourmet kosher dinner lay in the butter. “I like to finish off my meat sauce with it,” he said. Instead, he reduced his stock, and would have added pureed vegetables to thicken it if it hadn’t tasted right. He could have also added an arrowroot slurry, using oil to thicken it. “I was extremely impressed with the quality of the meat we tasted,” he added.

    Looking for a dessert, Carroll found an olive oil cake on the Internet, first mentioned inGourmet magazine in 2006. “I loved that cake,” said Palma, a recipe to which they added their chefs’ touch, serving it with black pepper and thyme glace, mountain huckleberry jam, and Seville orange coriander sorbet.

    Even the most careful chef can make a mistake in the kitchen, especially when faced with unfamiliar rules. Okochi, who is cooking his second kosher dinner at a hotel later this month, had run the menu by the hosts and me. But none of us caught the ankimo pate wrapped in pickled daikon radish, served as one of the passed hors d’oeuvres: Ankimo, we all learned after the meal, is made from monkfish, which like catfish, wolfish, and dogfish, has no scales and is therefore not kosher. Nobody caught it until it was too late.

    “I just have to pay attention a little more,” he said. “It was mental pressure. Usually when I cook, I just have to be careful not to burn myself, but it made me nervous not to make mistakes.”


  • D.C. Burgers Head to South Beach

    From: Burger Days

    We’re always up for a trek when it comes to burgering, but if that trek involves Miami and 30+ burgers from the some of the best-known burg chefs in the biz– we’re there with beefy bells on.

    It all goes down this Friday at the super-duper-swanky Ritz-Carlton in South Beach where Burger Days will be all up in that sweet, beefy action at the gala of all burger galas– the 2012 SoBe Burger Bash. (Ok, the official name is the Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Allen Brothers Steaks and Diet Pepsi hosted by Rachael Ray, but we get winded just thinking of typing that thing out).

    In addition to eating as much as possible leading up to the big day, further prep include a round of spray tans for the Crew, learning all the words to Mr. Smith’s jam, and watching nothing but Bad Boys and Bad Boys II for the rest of the week. Damn straight, bienvenido a Miami.

    Not only are we downright ecstatic for the opportunity to dive into burgers we only read about on the Internets, but we’re stoked that we’ll be getting up close and personal with the local joints taking their talents down to South Beach. Six burgers with D.C. locations are in the mix at the Bash, including two D.M.V. originals.

    One of those locals is Mark Bucher from BGR, who’ll be making his Bash debut this Friday. Bucher told Burger Days he’s both excited and nervous about the competition and admits he’s feeling a lot of pressure. He’s been preparing for two months on his entry: his popular Wellington burger with a little twist– it’s topped with foie gras. And even though this is  Bucher’s first dance at South Beach, he’s no stranger to burger competition. Or accolades. At meat guru Josh Ozersky’s Feedbag Burger Summit in 2009, Bucher’s Wellington walked away with top honors. (Bonus: On the side, he’ll be hooking up sweet potato tater tots. Uhh Mark– can we get them suckers on the BGR menu??)

    "What you know about my three medals?"

    The other local boy ready to do his burger thing down south is Good Stuff Eatery’s Chef Spike Mendelsohn. Unlike Bucher, this ain’t Spike’s first rodeo; 2012 will be his fourth year laying it down on the grill in Miami, and not only that, he done won the whole thing in ’09. His Colletti’s Smokehouse –a staple during our Capitol Hill burger outings– cleaned up three years ago, winning People’s Choice, the Judges Award and Best Dressed Burger. What a stud.

    Conceptualizing burgers for the past year in hopes to win back the title, Spike is breaking out an all-new burger this time that he says he didn’t come up with until just this January. And holy hell, are we looking forward to getting a piece of this one. Debuting at the Bash is Spike’s Steak-Frites burger with blue cheese, maitre d’ butter, french fries and béarnaise. Oh merdeyeah.

    And fine, if Shake Shack won’t bring their latest creation to us, then we’ll just go to it. We’ve been pleading with themto bring their new SmokeShack- a  Shack cheeseburger topped with Applewood-smoked bacon, cherry pepper relish and ShackSauce– to their D.C. spot, but nope, it’s strictly a Madison Square Park exclusive (so far). Well, it just so happens that very burg is their entrant into this year’s Bash, so yeah, we’re circumventing the shit outta the system and getting our taste this way.

    Rounding out the rest of the D.C. burgs are Bobby Flay and his Burger Palace with a Buffalo Style Burger with red hot sauce, blue cheese dressing –of course it’s “crunchified”– and PJ Clarke’s burger topped with Porter cheddar, Bluewood Farm double green relish with 1884 smoked ketchup catsup. The other spot allegedly participating is Serendipity 3, but they were absent from the Burger Bash menu and did not return our emails.

    Now, we tried to go through the menu and pick the top burgers we want to try but, got damn, it’s impossible. The entire thing is ridiculous. It’s just plain silly.

    There’s 32 burgers in the lineup and, we shit you not, every last one of them sounds amazing. Go ahead, take a look.

    How can we pass up “the best burger in the world“? Or defending Bash champ Michael Symon’s B Spot? What aboutBulldog’s The Luther? And hopefully-soon-to-be-in-D.C. Flip Burger is coming with a country-fried cheeseburger? With pig belly?!? And we haven’t even mentioned the bacon jam burger…

    What the hell are we gonna do?

    We’ve got four days.

    Four.

    Days.

    Operation Stomach Expansion is a go.


  • Spike Mendelsohn at South Beach Burger Bash

    From: Chicago Tribune

    Spike Mendelsohn of Good Stuff Eatery, center, works on his creation while competing in the Burger Bash at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami Beach, Fla., Friday, Feb. 24, 2012.


  • A Food Lover’s Guide to DC - Cheap Edition

    From: Far Out City

    Washington, DC isn’t exactly known for its cuisine.  I spent five years in the District, half of them not knowing where in the world to eat a decent meal. But, there are hidden gems tucked into its brick alleyways and indoor markets. If you’re willing to stray from Downtown and Penn Quarter, that is.

    Here are my picks for cheap eats in our nation’s capital.

    Good Stuff Eatery – Multiple Locations: Capitol Hill, Georgetown, and Crystal City

    We affectionately call this place “Spike’s” after Spike Mendellsohn, its perpetual fedora wearing and Top Chef alumnus owner. This place was an overnight success in Capitol Hill, and deservedly so. It borrows heavily from the Shake Shack model (milk shakes and cheeseburgers), but I’m going to go out on a limb and say Good Stuff one-upped its inspiration.

    The cheeseburgers are juicy and delicious. The ‘Shroom Burger – two portabella mushrooms, stuffed with Muenster and Cheddar cheese, and fried (basically Shake Shacks’s ‘Shroom Burger) – somehow manages to be tastier and more heart-clogging than its bovine colleagues. The wall of mayo options is brilliant, a perfect excuse to dunk French fries into mayonnaise without feeling like a total glutton (I mean, you need to taste them all, right?).  Once you’ve tasted the Toasted Marshmallow milkshake, which tastes like an icy creme brulee, you’ll never want another milk shake again.


  • GOOD STUFF EATERY HEADING TO GEORGETOWN

    From: The Hoya

    If there is one thing that D.C. might have more of than cupcakeries, it has to be deluxe burger joints. From Ray’s Hell Burger to BGR to Shake Shack, the District has its fair share of options for those carnivores looking to sink their teeth into a patty hot off the grill.

    On Capitol Hill, one of the most popular spots for burgers is Good Stuff Eatery. Top Chef and Top Chef All-Stars alum Spike Mendelsohnn owns the joint, which serves up gourmet burgers and shakes and  has garnered a popular fan base that even includes President Obama. Fans in Georgetown can rejoice at the news that Good Stuff Eatery could be coming locally.

    Early last week Good Stuff Eatery launched a new website that seemed to confirm the restaurant’s arrival in Georgetown. The location’s page hints that the burger place could open as early as this spring, but there is no official word on its location. There are rumors that it will take residence in the space formerly home to Georgetown Wings Co.; however, a lease has yet to be signed which would finalize the deal.

    So while Georgetown will have to wait at least a few more months before enjoying a Prez Obama Burger or a Michelle Melt or a hand-spun toasted marshmallow milkshake, at least we have Five Guys and Thunder Burger to satisfy burger cravings.


  • Michelle Obama and Top Chefs Promote Healthy Food in Dallas

    From: D Magazine

    First Lady Michelle Obama made a pit stop in Dallas this morning to promote her project,Let’s Move! inside the basketball court of Kleberg-Rylie Recreation Center. Her three-day national tour celebrates the second anniversary of her initiative designed to combat America’s growing obesity problem.

    “Healthy food can be good and delicious too,” said Mrs. Obama to a room filled with Nancy Moseley Elementary students, “And that’s what we’re going to learn today.”

    As 110 kids cheered, BRAVO’s Top Chefs Paul Qui, Grayson Schmitz, Richard Blais, Fabio Viviani, Jenn Carroll, and Spike Mendelssohn cooked healthy and nutritional meals within a 30 minute time limit under the watchful eyes of judges Tom Colicchio, Sam Kass (White House chef), and the First Lady.

    Shiny egg-head Tom meets his brother-from-another-mother, Sam Kass – a fellow shiny egg-head. They stall the kids before the First Lady arrives, and their heads reflect all the light in the room.

    First Lady Michelle Obama

    Then the First Lady arrives and all the kids are fawning over her, of course. Who could dislike a woman who rocks J. Crew?

    Red Team: Paul Qui, Grayson Schmitz, Dallas Cowboy DeMarcus Ware, and two Nancy Moseley students

    What they cooked: Elizabeth and Anna (the students) grabbed fresh cantaloupe and carrots from the ingredients table and started peeling and chopping like pros. Sweaty Paul and blushing Grayson (who is so photogenic, by the way) created turkey bacon tacos with fresh tortillas made in a baby oven. There was quinoa and slaw (made out of fennel, cabbage, and carrots) on the side. Grayson and the kids mixed skim milk with sweet melon to create a smoothie-like drink that the First Lady enjoyed.

    What the judges said: “A lot of flavor for healthy food, but doesn’t taste like it,” praised Tom Colicchio.

    Random: Paul wore skin-tight jeans while Grayson flirted with #94 Demarcus Ware. Future love couple, maybe?

    P.S. The press release tricked me. Paul was supposed to be here, not Ed. Hmm. Does this mean Paul doesn’t win Top Chef? Must think about this…

    White Team: Spike Mendelssohn, Jenn Carroll, Dallas Cowboy Miles Austin, and two Nancy Moseley students

    What they cooked: Smoked pork chops with apple sauce, sweet potato, greek yogurt with whole wheat pita chips

    What the judges said: “Flavors were good and not too seasoned,” said Tom, while Mrs. Obama told Spike and Jenn that it reminded her of comfort food.

    DeMarcus Ware and other Cowboys cheer on their respective teams.

    I got a little too close to blue team member, Fabio..

    Blue team: Richard Blais, Fabio Viviani, Felix Jones, DeMarco Murray, and two students

    What they cooked: Spiced turkey tenderloin, carrots, peas, and chocolate pudding with no chocolate in it.

    What the judges said: Tom thought the dishes were rich and colorful.

    Random: Richard Blais had Michelle Obama sign his wife’s birthday card, because his wife told him he couldn’t leave Texas without her autograph. What a smart wife!

    The judges conferring.

    Tom to First Lady: “Talk to the hand, not the face!”

    First Lady: “No, I must speak to your egg-head!”

    … just kidding. That would never happen. Instead, they discussed which team won the competition. Then Mrs. Obama announced that the winner was “Red, White, and Blue.”

    Grayson toasts the kids.

    Speech time.

    Mrs. Obama made the following remarks: “As everybody here knows, this challenge is run by the Department of Agriculture, or the USDA as we call it. And it recognizes schools that meet the highest national standards for nutrition and physical activity — the highest standards. These schools are the schools that are finding creative, innovative ways to serve healthy meals and to get kids active. So it’s a twofer — it’s not just nutrition, but it’s also physical activity. And these high-ranking schools are doing it at a time when budgets are tight — and we all know that budgets are tight — and there aren’t a whole lot of resources to go around, again, which is why this competition is important, because schools are being asked to do so much more with less.

    Right here in Dallas, more than 150 schools have been recognized in this challenge. That includes 78 schools that have earned Gold Awards, which go to schools that meet the highest levels of standards. And that’s more than any other school district in the entire country. Did you hear that? Dallas, you have more Gold schools in this district than anywhere in the country. And that includes schools like Nancy Moseley Elementary School!”

    Richard Blais – who’s already heavily involved with children’s health and nutrition around the nation – told us, “Mrs. Obama has inspired me to get involved in the local scene.”


  • Michelle Obama Celebrates 2nd Let's Move Anniversary With Top Chef 'Competition'


    From: Eater

    Last night, Michelle Obama met with parents at a Fort Worth Olive Garden to discuss improving the health of our nation's children -- with regard to eating and exercise -- with local parents. The choice of location was met with some contention, because, as Tim Love pointed out via Twitter, they do have thoseendless breadsticks.

    But, then, if you're talking about America, you'd go where America goes, not where the people who are already doing it right are already doing it right. Wouldn't you bring the people who do it right to the places where people don't? You just might not say that out loud, so much. To start anyway.

    Today, however, the First Lady rewarded (sorta) the kids and teachers fromNancy Moseley Elementary already on the right track after earning a Gold Award in the HealthierUS Schools Challenge.

    The Kleberg/Rylie Recreation Center, however, isn't the most ideal place for a 30-minute Top Chef-style cooking challenge hosted by Tom Colicchio and White House chef and Senior Policy Advisor of Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass when there are only two emcee mikes, stands full of children, a press box, security and a reality film crew capturing every moment for Bravo's Life After Top Chef. Oh, and a very long wait.

    "You see, kids?" Colicchio asked the crowd. "This is how TV is made. It's called hurry up and wait."

    This after a too-long stretch session with Rowdy the Dallas Cowboys mascot. And two introductions for each team -- and their Dallas Cowboys (America's Team, lest we forget) hype men, DeMarcus Ware, Miles Austin, Felix Jones, and DeMarco Murray. It's also, surely, how security and the third state in a 3-day tour goes.

    The challenge: to make a healthy school lunch in half an hour. There was a "pantry" but save the kids, no one ran to it. Team Blue, Fabio Viviani and Richard Blais, urged the kids in blue to chant for them. Team White, Spike Mendelsohn and Jennifer Carroll, following suit. Team Red, Grayson Schmitz and Paul Qui (that's right the press release was wrong -- no Edward Lee), earning the highest pitched squeals. Texas, y'all.
    Tiny elementary sized sous chefs helped their adult counter-parts with chopping and slicing, while the First Lady and Kass visited each team of kids and asked them "Who's an A student? Who likes vegetables? Who's going to college?" among other things.

    The chefs prepped items for tasting -- it wasn't clear how much actual cooking was taking place -- and Colicchio, Kass, Obama and the various Cowboys asked questions and looked on. The highlight of this section was definitely seeing Schmitz mouthing "KEEN-WAH" to an inquisitive Ware, explaining it was a grain full of protein and then giving her biggest smile.

    The "judging" -- which amounted to a semi-huddle interrupted by Ware -- resulted in a "Top Chef first": a three-way tie. Who wins? Red, white and blue, naturally.

    Overall, it was a rally. And what else would it be, really? With a hard-to-sell-to-kids message, Let's Move is celebrating its second anniversary andChefsMovetoSchools.org, a site aimed at helping chefs and schools find each other and form partnerships more easily, launched today. As Obama spoke to the crowd following the entertainment, there were a distracted kids during the parts with stats and names like Department of Agriculture, but when she directly addressed them, they were totally focused.
    It's important to eat right, it's important to get your exercise, but it's more important to be a good student -- that all of these things add up. It is very hard to focus at school if you don't have good fuel in your body. And that is the truth. This isn't just a grownup telling you to eat your vegetables. The truth is, is that your brain works better on good food. And we need you guys to be at your very best, because you're going to be the ones that are going to be the next leaders for our country, right?

    Afterward, Obama hugged the chefs and mini-sous before heading to Florida for her next stop. Austin's Top Cheftestant Paul Qui agreed with Grayson Schmitz that cooking for the First Lady was far less stressful than any Top Chef elimination challenge. They were also impressed (and probably considerably less stressed) that their assistants knew how to use their knives.

    Qui said he had no other Let's Move events on his roster but would "totally be into participating in others" and would like to find out more info on the Chefs Move to Schools program.

    Mendelsohn offered that he's "very much a supporter of Michelle Obama's initiative" while Blais, who is already active in the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, said hearing about the Chefs Move program has inspired him to get more active locally. (He also divulged that he had Obama sign a birthday card to his 1-year-old daughter while she was at his table.)


  • Good Stuff Eatery Gets Even Sweeter

    From: Capital Cooking

    Beginning today, guests of Good Stuff Eatery will be able to get more than a milkshake to sweeten up their meals.
    The DC burger haven can now add chocolate to its list of items for sale. Inspired by its line of milkshakes, Chef Spike Mendelsohn has paired with CoCo Sala Executive Chef, Santosh Tiptur, to create custom chocolate treats.
    Chef Spike Mendelsohn (far left) and Chef Santosh Tiptur (far right) address a crowd at CoCo Sala
    "We had been thrown around ideas of having something sweet, other than milkshakes, at Good Stuff," said Chef Spike. And what's better than a good chocolate bar?  Inspirations include Spike's Toasted Marshmallow shake, the Milky Way Malt, and the Soursop Hop Strawberry.
    The candy bar version of the toasted marshmallow shake is made with 55% Venezuelan dark chocolate and toasted mini marshmallows. Milk chocolate and malt balls create another bar, but the most whimsical is the certainly the last. The chefs have created a white chocolate bar and added dehydrated strawberries, and pop rocks "to add some magic to it," said Chef Tiptur.
    The bars will be available for purchase alone or in packages of three.
    Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake inspired dessert at CoCo Sala
    With CoCo Sala at the helm, and with a reputation of using only premium ingredients, Good Stuff Eatery guests will be in for a real treat. Literally.


  • The Ultimate Grammy Party

    From: Popdust

    The Grammy Awards are Sunday, which means by now you’ve probably completed a pool and are poring over updated predictions—or simply bought your weight in tortilla chips and a new pair of roomy sweats for your annual viewing party. We spare no judgments on the latter, as all award shows are best enjoyed with a hefty supply of highly enjoyable foods at the ready. (Sometimes the only way to make sense of Grammy ruling is through multiple pieces of pie.) We’ve pulled together a collection of Grammy recipes from top chefs around the country, as well as a few costume and party ideas for the big night. Prepare yourselves for a full fiesta with our nominee-themed party kit below.

    Step one: Supply some rocking snacks.

    Bruno Mars-Mallow Shake By Spike Mendelsohn

    • 1 16-ounce bag jumbo marshmallows
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 2 cups creamy vanilla ice cream
    • 1 tablespoon sour cream

    1. Preheat the broiler. Reserve 4 marshmallows for garnish.
    2. Spread out the remaining marshmallows on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place the sheet under the broiler and cook, stirring once or twice, until completely charred, 2 to 3 minutes.
    3. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Repeat with the remaining 4 marshmallows, but cook just until toasted slightly golden, about 1 minute.
    4. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
    5. Add the milk, ice cream, sour cream, and burnt marshmallows to a blender. Blend for 5 minutes. Pour into four 8-ounce glasses and garnish each glass with a golden marshmallow.

    Spike Mendelsohn is a TV personality, cook book author, chef and owner of two DC hotspots: Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza.


  • Michelle Obama joins ‘Top Chef’ judges at tasty Texas event

    From: Chron

    On Day #2 of her three-day tour marking the first anniversary of her “Let’s Move” program, first lady Michelle Obama was in Dallas to tape a segment of the popular TV cooking show “Top Chef,” to promote her initiative to make school lunches more tasty and nutritious.

    Mrs. Obama was one of the judges of a competition, in which three teams, composed of “Top Chef” chef-testants and student sous-chefs, prepared lunches, in 30 minutes, using fruits and vegetables (the chefs included Fabio Viviani, Jennifer Carroll and Spike Mendelsohn, the crowd favorite).

    The other two judges were “Top Chef” host Tom Colicchio (of Craft fame), and Sam Kass, the assistant White House chef and Mrs. Obama’s advisor on her healthy-eating initiative. Kass and Colicchio warmed up the crowd of school children at a recreation center, describing the White House’s efforts to improve lunch menus by pairing big-name chefs with schools. He then introduced “helpers,” including Dallas Cowboys football players (names below) and the team’s mascot, Rowdy, clad in oversize boots and a cowboy hat.

    When it came time to introduce the first lady, however, there was a scheduling glitch, as she was still doing a media interview. After two introductions and no first lady, some awkward stalling ensued, as Colicchio and Kass horsed around with Rowdy (“you’re cheesy, you’re cheesy,” Colicchio said to Rowdy, as the mascot snatched a piece of cheese off a table of ingredients).

    Finally, after the room had fallen into silence, the hosts gave it a third try, and the first lady strode into the gym to noisy applause.”Are you guys fired up?” she asked the kids. “The whole point of this is making sure you’re healthy.”

    “It’s time to get this competition started,” she added, to no disagreement from the impatient crowd.

    After the kids and the Cowboys raced across the gym to gather ingredients, they brought them back to cooking stations, where the chefs began assembling them into lunches.

    As the cooking was underway, Mrs. Obama mixed with kids, high-fiving them and quizzing them on their eating habits. Later, she made her way to the cooking stations, where pots were steaming and pans sizzling.

    The first lady asked the teams to describe their dishes, putting the emphasis on what was healthy.

    “Stay focused,” she said to one of the young sous-chefs.Thirty minutes turns out to be a long time when you’re entertaining a roomful of 10- to 13-year-olds.  Mrs. Obama made her way to the second, and then third, group of kids.

    At one point, Kass asked for a show of hands of which students who likes vegetables (more than half claimed to).Back at the cooking station, Colicchio was getting up in the grill of one of the chefs.

    “Why are you using this ingredient?” he barked. “It’s healthy?” the chef replied.”If it’s not delicious, the kids will tell you,” Kass added.

    As the minutes ticked off the clock, the kids cheered for their teams (red, white, and blue).”Who likes quinoa?” Colicchio asked the crowd, which seemed mystified.

    Finally, the buzzer rang, and the three judges began sampling the meals, starting with the red team. Colicchio proclaimed the team’s whole wheat turkey taco “really delicious.”

    The white team was next, offering a homemade applesauce. “This is like comfort food,” the first lady said.

    Blue team offered a salad with arugula, carrots, and avacado puree. “Colorful, flavorful, and balanced,” said Colicchio.

    The three judges huddled for several long moments in mid-court, pushing away Cowboy player DeMarcus Ware when he tried to eavesdrop (other players on hand: Felix Jones, DeMarco Murray).

    Mrs. Obama, standing behind the “Top Chef” podium, said it was a tough call, and then announced that all three teams had won.

    “The point in our decison,” she said, was that when you pair great chefs with schools, “everybody wins.”

    The first lady then spoke about her initiative to upgrade the menus of schools, announcing that 1,589 new schools had met new, higher standards thid year.

    Then the kids chanted “First Lady, First Lady,” and the event was a wrap.


  • Michelle Obama judges 'Top Chef'

    From: Politico

    First lady Michelle Obama was in Dallas Friday to judge a Top Chef cooking competition as part of her three-day Let's Move national tour.

    Obama joined White House chef Sam Kass and "Top Chef" host Tom Colicchio as judges in a televised competition that paired child sous-chefs with professional chef — all former contestants on the Bravo television show. Fabio Viviani, Jennifer Carroll and Spike Mendelsohn were the celebrity chef contestants.

    "Are you guys fired up?" Obama asked the kids before the event started. "The whole point of this is making sure you're healthy."

    At the end of the 30 minute competition, the three chefs-student teams produced whole wheat turkey tacos, homemade applesauce and an arugula, carrot and avocado salad. The three judges were unable to declare a winner, declaring that all three teams won.

    "The point in our decision," Obama said, was that when you pair great chefs with schools, "everybody wins."

    Dallas local news site Pegasus News reported that the Top Chef taping was part of a Bravo show called "Life After Chef," a spinoff of the popular cooking series.


  • Check Out Our Favorite New Collab (Hint: It's Not Jason Wu)

    From: Refinery 29

    There are a few things that we, as Washingtonians, have to have done at least once, for our claim to residency to be taken seriously. Things like visiting the monuments at night, downing a half-smoke at Ben's Chilli Bowl, and taking in the cherry blossoms. Also in that mix? Slurping up the famed toasted marshmallow shake at Good Stuff Eatery (or any of their dangerously addictive shakes, for that matter).

    The creative flavor combos of these crazy-decadent drinks (malted chocolate Milky Way shake, nomnomnom) are an overwhelming taste-gasm — we've actually considered moving a little closer to Good Stuff, they're that good. We couldn't have dreamed a way for them to up the ante in the delish department, but the folks at Good Stuff and Penn Quarter chocolatier Co Co. Sala have proven otherwise.

    Just in time for Valentine's Day, they teamed up to turn Good Stuff's three most popular handspun milkshakes into — you guessed it — chocolate bars. We're talking dark chocolate toasted marshmallow, milk chocolate Milky Way malt, and soursop hop strawberry white chocolate. After hearing those names, we feel sorry for store-bought chocolate, which we can't envision ever eating again. The bars are available at Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill today, and we wouldn't be surprised if someone buys out the stock to re-sell on eBay. Jason Wu, who?


  • First Lady Michelle Obama and Top Chefs put on cooking show in Dallas


    From: Pegasus News

    First Lady Michelle Obama got a big boost of Top Chef starpower when she was joined by Top Chef host Tom Colicchio and six contestants at a rec center in Dallas -- part of her three-day tour to bring attention to childhood obesity and celebrate the second anniversary of her Let's Move campaign.

    Emceed in part by White House chef Sam Kass, the healthy cooking competition featured Top Chefs Richard Blais, Fabio Viviani, Jenn Carroll, Spike Mendelsohn, Grayson Schmitz, and Paul Qui, while students from Nancy Moseley Elementary School in Dallas watched and cheered from bleachers. In the end, no winner was picked: When kids eat healthy food, "everybody's a winner," Obama said.

    The event took place on the basketball court at the Kleberg-Rylie Recreation Center, which had been turned into the set of the Bravo show Life After Top Chef, complete with temporary lamps hanging from the rafters for better light.

    Six students scored the high-profile assignment of running ingredients back and forth to the cooking stations where the Top Chefs were tasked with creating a healthy meal in 30 minutes. The chefs were paired up and placed on the red, white, or blue team. Season 9 contestants Grayson and Paul were paired together and dubbed by Colicchio the "Texas team." The blue team was Fabio and Richard, and White was Jenn and Spike.

    To help cheer on the chefs as "hype men" wereDallas Cowboys players Felix Jones, DeMarcus Ware, Miles Austin, DeMarco Murray, and their smiley mascot Rowdy -- who did quite the song and dance while about 100 5th and 6th graders waited patiently for the first lady to appear.

    "You see kids, this is how TV is made -- it's called hurry up and wait," Colicchio said, chuckling, as he and Rowdy ad-libbed for several minutes.

    The first lady arrived at 9:35 a.m., and then it began: The chefs stirred steaming pots while their young helpers ran and grabbed fresh ingredients. The red team's strategy was to have Grayson work with 6th graders Anna and Elizabeth while Paul stirred, emulsified, and tasted quietly to the side.

    First Lady Michelle Obama told Dallas ISD students, "Your brain works better on good food. And we need you guys to be at your very best, because you're going to be the ones that are going to be the next leaders for our country right?"

    Just like on television, the judges occasionally reminded contestants how much time was left on the clock, which ticked away on the rec center's light-up scoreboard. The chefs toiled away to make sure their meals contained dairy, protein, whole grains, and fruit.

    Time's up. The red team made whole wheat turkey tacos with alfalfa sprouts and quinoa, served with homemade cantaloupe juice; the blue team made turkey tenderloin; and the white team made pork chops with applesauce. Obama dabbed her lips daintily after trying several dishes, making positive comments about the nutritional value or recounting how tasty healthy food can be.

    After picking "everybody" as the winner, Obama said that Dallas ISD schools have done an especially good job of serving nutritional food. "You are really leading the way for schools," she said.

  • Good Stuff Goes All Willy Wonka

    From: Roll Call

    Cheflebrity Spike Mendelsohn, one of the local burgermeisters actively sought out by certain residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., is rolling out new gourmet chocolate bars modeled after the signature milkshakes mixed up at Good Stuff Eatery.

    The oversized confections will sell for $5 apiece at the flagship Capitol Hill outpost — and the forthcoming Crystal City, Va., and Georgetown locations — beginning this Friday.

    Co Co. Sala executive chef Santosh Tiptur said he relished the opportunity to translate Mendelsohn’s sippable sweets into a bite-sized format. “It’s always interesting and challenging when you try and re-create someone else’s imagination,” he told HOH.

    (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

    Mendelsohn tapped Good Stuff’s three most popular shakes — the Soursop Hop Strawberry (thick, fruity draw inundated with strawberry syrup), Milky Way (treat-filled soup stocked with crumbled malted milk balls and twin streams of caramel and fudge sauces) and Toasted Marshmallow (coconutty cooler festooned with a floating, lightly caramelized marshmallow) — for the prototype chocolate bars.

    Although embellished with always fun Pop Rocks, the strawberry bar struck us as the most faithful re-creation of its hand-spun counterpart. Of course, we absolutely loved the Milky Way bar’s malt ball crunch and melt-in-your-mouth milk chocolate (40 percent Venezuelan chocolate). We could take or leave the toasted marshmallow bar (dark chocolate was a nice touch).

    We also noticed that the “exclusive” Soursop Hop Strawberry Bar appears to be a carbon copy of Tiptur’s pre-existing Strawberry Jammin’ Bar. But given that treat retails for $10 a pop, chocoholics will be able to enjoy Mendelsohn’s version at a 50 percent discount.


  • First Lady Adds Top Chefs to North Texas Visit

    From: NBC5


    First lady Michelle Obama will head to North Texas this week for a one-two punch of events promoting healthy eating and exercise programs.

    First, Mrs. Obama will head to a Fort Worth Olive Garden location for a round-table dinner on Thursday evening. Parents who are volunteering with Mrs. Obama's "Let's Move" initiative will participate in a discussion about healthy eating and exercise activities during the dinner.

    Next, the first lady will head across town to a Dallas event at Nancy Moseley Elementary on Friday to celebrate the second anniversary of her "Let's Move" initiative to fight childhood obesity. She won't be alone, though.

    Top Chef contestants (or Chef'testants for those who speak Bravo language) from this season and years past will join the first lady for the Friday event.

    Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais, fan favorite Fabio Viviani, all-stars Jenn Carroll and Spike Mendelsohn, plus season nine (Top Chef: Texas) chefs Grayson Schmitz and Ed Lee will compete in a healthy eating cook-off with students from the school.


  • Hey, isn’t that. . . ?: Rachael Ray at Rasika

    From: Washington Post

    Rachael Ray dining at Rasika Tuesday night in a party of 10 that included D.C. chef Spike Mendelsohn. Palak chaat, cauliflower, chicken masala — though Ray lavished specific praise on the restaurant’s cucumber Vesper (it’s a gin drink)in a tweet. The foodie TV host was in town for a healthy-eating promotion Wednesday withMichelle Obama at Parklawn Elementary in Fairfax County.


  • Sightings: Rachael Ray and chef Spike dine at Rasika

    From: Washington Examiner

    Celebrity chef Rachael Ray was spotted out to dinner at Rasikawith nine guests Tuesday night, including "Top Chef" contestant and Good Stuff Eatery owner Spike Mendelsohn. The group was there for about two hours and chowed down on a selection of appetizers and entrees including the palak chaat, the cauliflower bezule and the green chicken masala.


  • Get Your Goat On

    From: Wall Street Journal

    After years of celebrating boutique meats such as Berkshire pork and heritage turkey, chefs have fallen hard for another protein. Goat has been embraced everywhere from sustainability-focused restaurants like Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., and Blue Hill in New York to "Top Chef" winner Stephanie Izard's Chicago spot Girl and the Goat. The meat has become so popular among chefs that many now complain about not being able to source enough of it.

    Spike Mendelsohn, the chef behind Washington, D.C., restaurants Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza, said he used to buy goat from Greek butcher shops in Queens, when he lived in New York. His Greek family has a long tradition of spit-roasting marinated goat leg. He likes to make stock from the bones.


  • New Chocolates at Good Stuff Eatery

    From: Millionaire Playboy

    Earlier this week MillionairePlayboy.com was invited to sample brand new chocolates, developed by DC’s own Co Co. Sala, and available exclusively atGood Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill just in time for Valentine’s day. Check out our write up and pics below!


    Good Stuff Eatery is our favorite place to grab a burger in DC. Between the hand-formed patties and the exotic dipping sauces for the fries, we try to head there once or twice a month for lunch. But have you heard of their milkshakes? Using fresh custard made on-site every morning, their handspun milkshakes are amazing. Then we heard that local chocolatier Co Co. Salawas creating three unique chocolate candies inspired by their favorite Good Stuff milkshakes, we had to give them a taste.


    The chocolate bars will be available exclusively at Good Stuff beginning this Friday, just in time for Valentine’s Day. But don’t worry, if you’re not able to swing by there this week, the candies will be available at Good Stuff, from now on.


    There are three flavors available (at press time we don’t have a price, if they’re going to be available separately, or all three bundled together, but the actual bars are big).

    • Milk Chocolate with malt balls – inspired by the Milky Way Malt milkshake, this has a sweet, American flavor.
    • Dark Chocolate with Toasted Marshmallow – reminiscent of s’mores, the marshmallow and dark chocolate complement each other fantastically
    • Soursop Hop Strawberry- white chocolate with flecks of real strawberries, with pop-rocks tossed on for a little bit of fun. Delicious!

    We had a lot of fun at the tasting. Good Stuff’s own Chef Spike was on hand to greet us, and Co Co. Sala’s Chef Santosh Tiptur described how they created the treats. My favorite was the dark chocolate with toasted marshmallow. The marshmallow reminded me of camping as a kid, but the dark chocolate reminded me that I now had grown-up tastes, and I have matured as a chocolate lover. Or something.