In a somewhat (pleasantly) surprising announcement, local celebrity chef and Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn will be among the competitors vying for the title of Next Iron Chef when the series kicks off its fourth season on October 30. Mendelsohn, chef/owner of DC hot spots Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza, will face off against some of the culinary scene’s top toques, including New York city heavyweights Marcus Samuelsson (Red Rooster), Anne Burrell (former sous chef for Mario Batali), Geoffrey Zakarian (Lambs Club and The National), and Alex Guarnaschelli (Butter and The Darby). The rest of the line-up includes Food Network/Cooking Channel stars Beau MacMilla (Elements), Chuck Hughes (Garde Manger), Michael Chiarello (Bottega and NapaStyle), and a former Iron Chef challenger, Elizabeth Faulkner (Citizen Cake). Hosting as usual will be Iron Chef emcee Alton Brown, along with guest judges Michael Symon (Lola), journalist Simon Majumdar and UK Iron Chef Judy Joo.
Mendelsohn will not be resting on his laurels as he prepares to do battle this Fall. In the next two weeks, he will unveil “Sixth & Rye,” a new kosher food truck in collaboration with DC’s Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. Inspired by a lack of good delis in town, the truck will serve traditional Jewish items like corned beef sandwiches and knishes on Fridays at lunchtime only, so you better get in line early. Check back for our take in early May. First reported by TheFeast.com.