Chef Spike Mendelsohn of Good Stuff Eatery - Biography

Washington, DC

August 2013

Spike Mendelsohn was 13 when he had his first experience in the kitchen, filling in for a missing sauté cook during the evening rush in his parents’ busy restaurant. His mom still insists she instantly knew he was destined to be a great chef. Mendelsohn moved around from restaurant to restaurant, filling in for every possible position from waiter to bartender to maître d’. He was hooked, and at 19, he told his mom he wanted to become a chef. She made a deal with him: work for one year and live up to the demands, humility, and perseverance required of the job, and she and his father would send him to any culinary school in the world.

Mendelsohn followed through, enrolling at the Culinary Institute of America in January 2004 and graduating in 2005 with The Francis Roth Leadership Award. He also earned a coveted externship with Chef Gerard Boyer at the famous Les Crayeres in Reims, France, and won a spot traveling to Vietnam with the CIA’s Culinary Society, a trip that profoundly influence his cuisine. A variety of influential kitchens followed, including Bouchon with Thomas Keller, Le Cirque in New York, and Mai House in Tribeca with Chef Michael Huynh.

A spot on Bravo’s “Top Chef” earned him national attention, solidified by later spots on “Top Chef All Stars” and “Life After Top Chef,” which for Mendelsohn included the birth of his now 5-year-old restaurant, Good Stuff Eatery in Washington, D.C. A second concept, We, The Pizza followed, as did a The Good Stuff Cookbook in 2010.