Ever since Spike Mendelsohn appeared on the fourth season of Top Chef in 2008, he’s been raking in win after win. But long before he became a popular food media personality, he was spending his childhood days among the French bistros of Montreal and Paris, learning all about the business of restaurants and hospitality from his parents. Today, he and his family own several popular Washington D.C. spots — Good Stuff Eatery, Béarnaise and We, The Pizza.
Karen Leibowitz is the co-founder and Director of Communications for The Perennial in San Francisco. Along with her husband and business partner, Anthony Myint, she runs a restaurant dedicated to progressive farming and sustainable design — complete with a fish-filled aquarium, menus made of 100% recycled paper and an energy-efficient, all-LED lighting system.
Emmy award-winning TV host, best-selling cookbook author and restaurateur, Lidia Bastianich is no stranger to the food business. From working at a bakery in Queens, New York when she was just 14, to flipping pizzas on the Upper West Side after high school, to opening her first restaurant, Buonavia, in 1971, this hardworking entrepreneur has the kind of sweeping hands-on hospitality experience (and success) that makes her an uncontested expert in the field.
Ever wanted to eat like an insider? Check out the top NYC spots from Nate Adler, whose Spanish-inspired restaurant, Huertas, dishes out tasty tapas and drinks to hungry East Village-goers in an intimate space on First Avenue. From the best bagels to where to grab a late-night bite, this local expert’s picks will help you discover some of the city’s most delectable dishes.
Looking for the scoop on where to eat and drink in the Bay Area? Get an insider’s take on top spots from Roberth Sundell. The acclaimed Swedish-born chef runs Plaj, the only restaurant in San Francisco dedicated to Scandinavian cuisine. When he’s not cooking up great Nordic fare, you can find him at home in Petaluma, just outside SF, and from lobster to weinersnitchel, he’s got the skinny on some of the best not-to-be-missed gems in Northern California.
Swedish-born chef Roberth Sundell runs Pläj, the only restaurant in San Francisco dedicated to Scandinavian fare. Pronounced “play,” the eatery opened in 2012 and offers Nordic classics like herring, whitefish and potato dumplings, as well as Swedish specialties (elk and lingonberries make proud appearances on the menu). Sundell’s passion for his native cuisine and love of local ingredients is a boon to the Bay Area’s large Scandinavian community, not to mention SF foodies looking to stretch their palates. We caught up with him on his favorite food group, holiday smorgasbords and why caviar in a tube is a (good) thing.
Tucked in the middle of Manhattan’s graffiti-chic Alphabet City lies Virginia’s — an easygoing oasis in the middle of the city’s mile-a-minute, food-crazed urban jungle. The menu, though small, is mighty in flavor and masterful in execution, with top-notch service to match.
Want to eat and drink like an insider? Check out the top NYC spots from Reed Adelson, the owner of Virginia’s, an Alphabet-City favorite that’s been satisfying downtown diners with its seasonally inspired American bistro fare since it opened last spring. From his favorite donut shop to where to people-watch, this local expert’s picks will help you discover some of the city’s most incredible places.
Ken Oringer, the James Beard Award-winning chef/owner of five Boston-area restaurants and Toro NYC, spent his youth playing around in the kitchen, eventually growing up to earn some of the most coveted accolades in the culinary world (James Beard Award, Best New Chef North East, 2001; Best Chef, Boston Magazine, 2000; and Iron Chef America, Coffee Battle vs Cat Cora, 2008, to name just a few). The successful entrepreneur spoke with us about his favorite food cities, having restaurant-launch nightmares and the one food he can’t stand.
Looking for the inside scoop on where to eat and drink in Boston? Check out the top spots from Drew Parsons. The restaurateur — who spent much of his career playing bass for The Lemonheads and American Hi-Fi, among others — currently runs The Maiden, an American restaurant and wine bar which opened in South Boston in 2015. From steak nachos to wasabi dumplings, this New England native’s picks will help you discover some of the city’s most delicious dishes.