Chef Spike Mendelsohn, Local Chef, Restauranteur and TV Personality

Posted by Ernie K. on 3/3/21 4:18 PM
Meet local celebrity, Chef Spike Mendelsohn. From chef and restauranteur to television personality, product designer and consultant, Spike is a force to be reckoned with in the culinary—and home design—world.


Key takeaways:

  • Chef Spike is a Local celebrity chef who owns several local restaurants and is a leader in charity work in the area. Raised in a family of chefs/restaurateurs and trained at a culinary school, this line of work became his life’s ambition.

  • Chef Spike came to fame as one of the top finishers of the fourth season of the TV show Top Chef and is the chef and owner of multiple area restaurants, including: Good Stuff Eatery; Santa Rosa Taqueria; We, The Pizza; PLNT Burger, Victor; and Eat the Change snack company.

  • As the restaurant industry grows and moves forward, there are different modalities evolving of what it specifically means to be a chef.
  • Diversification is what Spike is currently working on. This process starts with a very good support team.

  • Chef Spike now designs kitchens for at-home cooks. Several of Van Metre’s new floorplans have been designed with professional chef-inspired kitchens for families

  • In his designs, Chef Spike carefully considered the question of how technology affects performance in the kitchen. The simple answer is consistency.


  • Pro tip: keep the oven door shut! Don’t let the heat escape.

  • Julia Child was a huge inspiration to Chef Spike and informed the way he designed different aspects of Van Metre kitchens.

  • Chef Spike likes to draw cooking inspiration from his kitchen environment, including the equipment he uses and the spices he has on hand. To reflect this, he reinvented the pantry in select Van Metre homes. He brought daylight into the pantry, as well as extra refrigeration and table shelving. The pantry becomes a prep kitchen for the home chef. The main kitchen features open shelves, where you can easily store your plates and equipment for easy access.

  • Pro tip for busy parents deciding what to cook for dinner every night: go out to eat once in a while, but a little pre-planning helps minimize stress in the moment. Create theme nights for the family: Meatless Mondays; Taco Tuesdays, Mediterranean Wednesdays, etc.

  • DC Central Kitchen and Capital Food Fight are two charities Chef Spike actively participates in. DC Central feeds the homeless by provides culinary training for ex-prisoners. Chef Spike hires graduates of this program to work for him in his various restaurants. Chef Spike, with DC chef and restaurateur Jose Andres, now hosts the Capital Food Fight, DC Central Kitchen’s annual fundraising event.

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