Béarnaise embodies the experiences of Chef Spike and his sister, Micheline, growing up among fabulous steak frites in Montreal and spending time cooking, exploring and living among french bistros in Paris.
Owners, with their family in Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza, Béarnaise is their first venture as a brother and sister team…almost. The invaluable restaurant experience of their father, Harvey, and mother, Cathy, guided them in creating a modern twist of a classic french bistro.
Spike and Micheline’s vision was to create a restaurant that served an french fare with a chic, social atmosphere. Béarnaise was brought to life with the world-renowned design of Bess Pappas, Pappas Design Studio. Their cousin Suzie Colivas, one of the innovators behind Good Stuff Eatery, also shared her artistic skills. Chef Brad Race, the Executive Chef, is the culinary talent behind the Soup à L’Onion, Steak Maison with Bordelaise Sauce, Chocolat Profiterols and many more Parisian classics.
“Humble but Chic”. These words began the concept and the first store opened on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC in June 2013.
Chef Spike Mendelsohn
Spike, is a co-owner and Chef. A graduate of The Culinary Institute Of America, Spike worked for icons such as Gerard Boyer in Reims, France; Thomas Keller of The French Laundry and Bouchon in Napa Valley, California; Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque and Drew Neiporent’s Mai House in New York City. Under Chef Spike’s direction Mai House Restaurant was awarded two stars by Frank Bruni of the New York Times and awarded the distinction of 10 Best Restaurants in New York City.
Spike’s television debut was on Bravo’s hit television series Top Chef Chicago. With an average of 3.5 million viewers per show for 17 weeks, he now enjoys nationwide recognition. Spike also has appeared on Bravo’s Life After Top Chef and Top Chef All Stars, Food Network’s Iron Chef America and Spike TV’s Bar Rescue.
With the success of Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza Spike has appeared on numerous television shows including Cooking with Emeril, Good Morning America, The View, The Rachael Ray Show and The Today Show. Spike participates in speaking engagements, culinary demonstrations and Food and Wine Festivals around the world.
Micheline Mendelsohn Luhn
Micheline graduated Chicago University with a Master’s Degree in International Relations. Prior to her graduate work, Micheline majored in Journalism and Marketing at Indiana University. Micheline began her career in Santa Monica, California working at Harper’s Bazaar magazine and continued to work in journalism in Indiana, Massachusetts and Illinois.
Upon moving to DC, Micheline worked at the Canadian Embassy in their Public Affairs Department, in the office of Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and for various nonprofits before opening her own public relations company, Mendelsohn and Associates. Micheline has coordinated special events, handled all media relations and spearheaded communication strategies for several international and domestic organizations on Capitol Hill and the DC area for over a decade.
Micheline was also appointed Director of Strategic Communications to help develop and oversee a communications plan for what proved a successful joint venture for a private company to merge with a publicly traded company.
Micheline joined Good Stuff Eatery in the capacity of Director of Communications & Marketing, responsible for the extraordinary coverage of Chef Spike, Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza in the media.
Chef Brad Race
Brad Race joins Béarnaise as the Executive Chef bringing with him a wealth of classic French culinary skills. Prior to joining Béarnaise, Brad opened Michel, Michel Richard's French bistro in Tysons Corner as the Executive Sous Chef.
Before that, Brad was a Sous Chef at Jose Andre's Minibar for 3 years. Working under Chefs Ruben Garcia and Katsuya Fukishima, Brad learned to look at food in an entirely unique way – how to take something, break it down into all its components, and then recreate it in new and ingenious ways.
Brad, originally from New York, began his career at Oceana, a Michelin star French seafood restaurant in New York City. From there he opened Sirio Maccioni's Le Cirque, one of the most renowned French restaurants in New York City, and learned classic French cuisine under Executive Chef Pierre Schaedelin. His experience in modern fare and classic French cuisine is a perfect combination for executing a modern steak frites.
Spike and Brad met while working alongside each other at Le Cirque while making....of course, sauce béarnaise!