Spike Mendelsohn: I Grew Up With Julia Child

By Spike Mendelsohn

I grew up in a restaurant family. This unique upbringing placed me in the kitchen at a young age, but it also meant that my parents worked non-stop. As a kid I required constant supervision to stay out of trouble, so my mom would turn on PBS and watch with me. I grew up with Julia Child. She was a fixture in my living room and an influencer in my kitchen. My mom knows how to pick role models.

There was something special about watching Julia’s boisterous personality flood through my television and show me that cooking isn’t just about work or staying nourished. Julia captured the fun of food and shunned the pretentiousness or perfectionism that sometimes finds its way into a kitchen. I loved Julia, along with her successes and blunders in front of the stove. Her effervescent approach to cooking was captivating! I was hooked. I’m sure that I would have fallen in love with food regardless, it was inevitable in my family, but Julia’s lively programs on PBS surely got my stomach rumbling.

About Spike Mendelsohn

Chef Spike Mendelsohn is a graduate of The Culinary Institute Of America and worked for culinary icons such as Gerard Boyer in Reims, France; Thomas Keller of The French Laundry and Bouchon Bistro in Napa Valley, California; Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque and Drew Nieporent’s Mai House in New York City. Spike’s television debut was on Bravo’s hit television series Top Chef for their 4th season in Chicago. He also appeared on Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars and the Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs.

His four-year-old restaurant, Good Stuff Eatery in Washington D.C., features his own personal weaknesses –handcrafted burgers, handcut fries and handspun milkshakes in an environmentally friendly atmosphere. Spike’s second restaurant, We, The Pizza, serves pizzas and housemade old-fashioned sodas.