Chef Spike Mendelsohn may only be 32 years old but he’s already written a best-selling cookbook, starred in several television programs, and currently runs five restaurants (with another three in the pipeline). And, did we mention, he counts President Obama and family among his frequent customers at his popular burger joint Good Stuff Eatery.
The young chef, born Evangelos Mendelsohn, is originally from Montreal, Canada, and is half-Greek, half-Jewish or as he describes it "Grewish." He credits his parents with giving him an appetite for all things food-related from a young age. "I’ve been in the food business since the day I was born. I come from generations of restaurateurs and grew up inside my parents’ restaurants. I’ve had every job you can possibly think of in the restaurant, from dishwasher to food runner to owner. Food and cooking have always been a passion, because of my family," explains chef Mendelsohn.
Mendelsohn attended the Culinary Institute of America and trained with the crème de la crème in restaurants worldwide including Gerard Boyer at Les Crayères, Thomas Keller at Bouchon, and the Maccioni Family at Le Cirque.
The Daily Meal sat down with chef Mendelsohn to reveal what a typical day’s food menu looked like for him and asked nutritionist Elyse Sosin, RD, to give her thoughts.
Chef Mendelsohn’s Food Log
8 a.m.: I can’t start my day without coffee and a bit of skim milk. If it weren’t for the coffee, I’d be crawling back into bed, but it gives me the bit of energy I need to get going and leave my house.
9 a.m.: Arrive at the office, and have some water while I answer a few emails.
9:30 a.m.: Munching on an apple and a hard-boiled egg as I meet with Brad, the executive chef at my new restaurant Béarnaise — a French bistro specializing in steak frites. This has started to become my go-to breakfast on those crazy mornings when I can’t find the time to sit down.
10 a.m.: We’re working on a new seasonal tart for the Béarnaise dessert menu. I try a couple of bites of our fig tart and wash it down with another glass of water. We always try to use what is delicious and seasonal for our tarts. The figs this morning were just perfect.
11 a.m.: I taste a spoonful of three of the most popular sauces we serve at Béarnaise. I try the Béarnaise, Bordelaise, and Au Poivre. I wash them down with another glass of water.
12 p.m: I have a grapefruit as a little boost before the busy lunch service walks in the door.
2 p.m.: Finally, a break from lunch service at Béarnaise, so I order our signature French onion soup and a glass of water. It’s nice to sit down for a meal rather than grabbing a bite here and there. The French onion soup is served with a brioche crouton and melted Gruyère and Comté cheese.
5 p.m.: I pop into one of my family’s other restaurants, called We, The Pizza. They make delicious housemade sodas that are all natural and made with fresh fruit purées. As a result, the flavors are robust and refreshing. I grab a pineapple soda from there.
8:30 p.m.: After checking on dinner service at Béarnaise, I sit at the bar to have a light dinner. I order the "Poulet Paillard Frites," which is a grilled chicken breast served with Dijon sauce. I swap out the frites for our haricot verts. These green beans are served cold and topped with pickled shallots.
9 p.m.: Time for a glass of red wine while I sit down with our general manager, Catherine, to go over day-to-day operations and upcoming events at the restaurant.
10:30 p.m.: At home and unwinding. I have some tea and a handful of blueberries and raw almonds. I always keep a bowl of raw almonds in my kitchen for snacking.
To see our nuritionist's analysis, please continue to the next page.