Monday, February 14, 2011

First Lady's Fave DC Chef: Spike Mendelsohn?

DC chef and former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn is now the local cuilnary wizard who has enjoyed the most restaurant visits in the last two years from First Lady Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama dined at Mendelsohn's Capitol Hill eatery We The Pizza on Saturday night, for the fifth known visit to one of his two family-run eateries. President Obama is also a fan of Mendelsohn, who has created burgers in honor of both Obamas.

The First Lady's Saturday visit to Mendelsohn's Capitol Hill joint is her third known visit; she last dined there for lunch in October, when she brought daughters Malia and Sasha for a Columbus Day holiday treat. Mrs. Obama has also dined at Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery, a burger joint, located next door to the pizza hut, at least twice. Saturday's dinner was at around 7:00 PM, when the First Lady and a small group dined upstairs, according to Politico.

The only other DC restaurants to enjoy such repeated patronage by Mrs. Obama are those owned by chef Jose Andres; the First Lady has dined out at various Andres restaurants in DC four times since moving into the White House. Both Andres and Mendelsohn have cooked at the White House, and are a part of the Chefs Move To Schools initiative in Mrs. Obama's Let's Move! campaign. They were part of a group of professional chef advisers brought on board by Senior Policy Adviser for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass to help design the program. (Above: Kass and Mendelsohn at a cooking event at the White House)

Mendelsohn told ObFo in a 2009 interview that President Obama liked to order secret take-out burgers from his Good Stuff Eatery, which were sent back to the White House with a side of steamed broccoli. Mendelsohn created "The Michelle Melt" last year; it's a healthy turkey burger for Good Stuff's menu, and he already had the "President Obama Burger" on that menu waaaay back during Campaign 2008, when it out-sold the companion McCain Burger.

Info: We The Pizza is at 305 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003. Phone: (202) 544-4008. Good Stuff is next door.

*Photos by Eddie Gehman Kohan/