Spike’s career, spanning nearly three decades, can be described as nothing short of creatively diverse. From chef and restaurateur to television personality, food policy advocate and consultant, Spike is a force to be reckoned with in the culinary world.
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Spike worked with some of the world’s most renowned chefs and restaurateurs such as Gerard Boyer, Thomas Keller, Sirio Maccioni and Drew Nieporent. After making his television debut on Bravo TV’s Top Chef, Spike went on to appear on several other cooking-related shows, including Life After Top Chef, Iron Chef America, Late Night Chef Fight and Beat Bobby Flay. He also hosted Midnight Feast and Food Network’s Kitchen Sink.
In 2008, Spike opened up the first restaurant in his culinary empire on Washington DC’s Capitol Hill: Good Stuff Eatery. His burger joint quickly became a favorite of political elites, including President Barack Obama. This success inspired a cookbook (The Good Stuff Cookbook) and multiple locations across the country and overseas. Following the opening of Good Stuff Eatery, Spike opened up We, The Pizza, Béarnaise and Santa Rosa Taqueria. Outside of his restaurants, Spike’s popular DC speakeasy (The Sheppard) paved the way for a second concept called The Morris.
In 2019, several inspirational moments led to the opening of Spike’s newest restaurant, PLNT Burger, a fast-casual chain that is dedicated to celebrating classic American comfort foods in a way that is better for people and the planet. Shortly after its launch, former Beyond Meat executive and co-founder of Honest Tea Seth Goldman joined the chain as co-founder. Just two years after opening its first location in Silver Spring, Maryland, PLNT Burger now has ten restaurants.
Together, Mendelsohn and Goldman also founded Eat The Change, a snack company on a mission to create chef-crafted and nutrient dense snacks that are kind to the planet. Following the success of the company’s mushroom jerky, Eat The Change launched a first-to-market vegetable snack for kids called Cosmic Carrot Chews. After hearing how popular the snacks were with kids and adults, Spike crafted new, flavorful versions that people of all ages are enjoying on the go. Most recently, Eat The Change created Just Ice Tea which is an organic iced tea brand focused on sourcing simple ingredients and Fair Trade Certified teas and sweeteners.
Applying his experience and expertise as a chef and restaurateur, Spike has worked with several brands by providing them with creative and comprehensive culinary consulting services. His consulting projects include Sunny’s and Campton Yard in Miami Beach and Vim & Victor at the state-of-the-art sports and active entertainment center, The St. James, in Virginia.
In an effort to put his passion for food equity and education into action, Spike began working with organizations like CARE and DC Central Kitchen as a chef ambassador and contributor. His work landed him the position as the first chairman of DC’s Food Policy Council. He has used his voice to speak out about improving the quality of school lunches, equal access to whole and healthy foods and for the protection of the SNAP program. Spike continues to partner with groups like Wholesome Wave and Food Rescue US to make a positive impact on our food system.
Spike combined his intimate knowledge of the Relais & Chateau kitchen life with his experience in media production by partnering with Show of Force as an executive producer to deliver a riveting and never-before-seen look behind the curtain that is the Inn at Little Washington. The Inn At Little Washington: A Delicious New Documentary is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.
Spike lives in the DC area with his wife, Cody, and their son. When he’s not in the kitchen or lobbying on The Hill, Spike can be found surfing any river or ocean that has a wave.