Spike Mendelsohn is a Washington, D.C- based chef and restaurateur, best known as a finisher of the fourth season of Top Chef. Spike is the chef and owner of D.C area restaurants; Good Stuff Eatery, We, The Pizza, and Béarnaise. Most recently, Spike opened Sunny's inside The Hall hotel in Miami. Spike comes from a long line of cooks and growing up in the family restaurant, first working the line as a sauté cook at the age of 13. Spike's resturants are all about family, community, a passion for local, high-quality ingredients, and creating a dining experience that's fun, casual and social.
Spike graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute of America. As a celebrity chef, Spike has appeared on international media outlets including the Food Network's Iron Chef America, Good Morning America, The View, Rachel Ray, and VH1's Big Morning Buzz Live. In February 2014, Mendelsohn appeared on The Queen Latifah Show and was also featured in Cosmopolitian Magazine. Spike servces as the Chairman of the D.C. Food Policy Coucil, Chef Ambassador to CARE International and Chef Contributor to DC Central Kitchen.
Spike's restaurant Good Stuff Eatery near Capitol Hill attracts regulars, Barack and Michelle Obama, with a hamburger even named after the President called The "Prez Obama Burger" created in honor of President Obama's 2009 Inaugeral Celebration. Good Stuff Eatery is a family business and after 3 generations of food being their life's work and passion, the Mendelsohns offer Americans their favorite foods made with delicious farm fresh ingredients, respecting the environment and sourcing products from the local farming community.
Whether it's hip, cool and casual American dining or French-inspired dining with a twist, Chef Spike's food is soul-satisfying and full of love. We look forward to welcoming Spike with his high energy, community-minded spirit to our island home.
Meet Spike on Turtle Island from December 3 - 10, 2015. Return to Main Page
Chef Spike Mendelsohn's Experience on Turtle Island:
Spike and his parnter Codie arrived in Fiji on the morning of December 3rd - their first time in the country. As soon as he arrived, we knew we were going to have a blast showing him around the local markets in Nadi and welcoming him to Turtle Island that afternoon. Spike's inspiration for his restaurants always comes from experiencing different cultures and traveling to different places all over the world, so we knew that Spike would draw a lot of inspiration from the lovely Fijian people and the Fijian way of life.
"Coming to rural countries is always very humbling and inspiring - its great to see cultures living off the land, families helping each other, everyone has a duty, it goes back to the way things were a long time ago in the states. We're very spoiled in the states now we have everything at our finger tips, we don’t always appricate it we're always thinking about the next big thing. Here on Turtle Island, you can really detach yourself from this world we've built in America and its just really really refreshing. I can't say anything nicer about the Fijian people here... the locals, the food I've gotten to eat here... it's so tasty! I grew up with a hot meal on the table every night and my mother always made sure we knew the true power of food which is bringing your family together at a table. We eat very individually in the US these days and very fast and we skip the step of what the true power of food is… bringing people to together, sharing and having a good time, talking about each others days. Its always nice to come back to a country where people truly appreciate that simple things in life." Said Spike.
Our head Chef Beni took Spike out free diving for Octopus and Fishing on several occassions. Spike held the GoPro while Chef Beni (who had more experience in the open ocean) dove deep into the sea to catch the Octopus that would become a delicious snack for our guests that day! "Anytime you can catch your own food in this life it’s a world of difference. Food seems to travel across the globe these days in frozen refrigerations and ships and airplanes and especailly in the states the food is so processed... we've totally lost touch with what are supposed to be doing." Said Spike of his experience of true "sea-to-table" dining. The Octopus was tenderized in water with some aromatics until it was nice and tender. The Octopus was pressed and cooked on a flat top grill to make it nice and crispy. We put together a Green papaya salad with papayas literally straight from the trees in the garden. A lime Vietnamese type of dressing sweet, spicy, sour topped of the dish along with pickled carrots, fresh herbs and folded in the Octopus. Truly a gift from the land!
Chef Spike and our kitchen staff prepared an amazing Thanksgiving Meal for our guests which included:
Braised Pork Belly marinated in Coconut Water (fresh from the tree!), sugar, lemon grass and herbs from the garden, served over wok seared long beans and garlic
Chicken w/ garden pesto, mushrooms and zucchini
Lobsters came in from the night before so we did Lobster Tails with Boiled Potatoes and fresh herbs, grilled and kept it really simple.
Sweet Spicy Walu Fish with chilies pineapple juice and fish sauce. Sweet, Spicy, Sour, its got everything! One of my favorites!
Pumpkin Tart and Mango Sorbet for dessert
Spike has just opened a new restaurant - Beach Bites prepared by Beach Bums. "It taps into the surf culture that I love to be part of it and the idea of eating barefoot and on the sand. Street food, honest food. I always draw inspiration from my travels and experiencing different cultures. You'll see some of the dishes I've created here on my menu and replicate one or two specials. I love traveling it’s a constant reminder of the idea of family and sharing and coming together. You go back home and back to work and its easy to forget and get consumed by your daily life in the US and I need to travel to be constantly reminded of what life is really all about! This has been an amazing life experience that I'll always remember."