Today, cheftestant Spike Mendelsohn announced his partnership with Takeda Pharmaceuticals to sell their heartburn drug Dexilant, and while some may find this too reminiscent of a certain chef's recent promotion of diabetes medication, at least the partnership is more thought out than Deen's.
Mendelsohn, who helped launch the web site Don't Let It Burn, has developed recipes for those suffering from heartburn to help you stomach all that great food you want to eat. We were able to chat with him about his decision to partner with the pharmaceutical company, and about his latest restaurant concepts and the upcoming Bravo show Life After Top Chef.
The Daily Meal: So what made you decide to partner with Takeda?
Spike Mendelsohn: Acid reflux disease is something I've been dealing with for the better part of my life, and [this partnership] has given me the opportunity to kind of manage it.
TDM: What surprising changes have you had to make to control your heartburn?
SM: I’m an avid coffee drinker. I’m running around the kitchen all day long, so I kind of depend on caffeine. That item is really affecting my heartburn, so I've been trying to cut it out as much as possible.
TDM: Well, you have so many projects on the docket, it must be tough. You're expanding Good Stuff Eatery to two new locations (Crystal City and Georgetown). Ever think of coming to New York?
SM: No, too much stress in New York City for me. It’s not good for my acid reflux .
TDM: What about California, then?
SM: Yeah I’d love to be on the beach right now. But we’re expanding really, really slowly. I’m still pretty young and it’s a very stressful career that I’ve chosen. But we’re looking and going to Chicago, and hopefully maybe Philadelphia. Right now we’re staying in the area.
TDM: Right, so you have another Washington, D.C. restaurant in the works for the end of the year. Can you tell us a little about that one?
SM: It’s inspired by classic steak frites places out of Paris, and it's going to be something new and fresh, not quite a bistro. There's a famous restaurant called L'Entrecote in Montreal and Paris [that inspired me]. At this steak frites place we're going to specialize in onion soups, walnut salads. It’s going to get me back in the kitchen cooking every day.
TDM: Then you also have that new show, Life After Top Chef. Has that started filming?
SM: It's started filming and it’s well on its way. It’s definitely something that’s throwing a wrenc h in all my plans, trying to manage my acid reflux disease.
TDM: It must be so different from Top Chef.
SM: When you’re on Top Chef it’s just a competition show. Yes, it’s stressful, but at the end of the day it’s just a competition. This is following me around bouncing from one restaurant to another, all the different types of events and charities. It’s definitely something completely different than what I am used to. Unfortunately I feel like a reality TV star right now.