Bravo's new show, "Life After Top Chef," gives viewers a healthy-sized bite of what life is like in the D.C. food scene. And it's not just because one of the four principles that the camera crews are following is Spike Mendelsohn, owner of Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza -- other D.C. chefs and restaurants make cameos in the pilot as well.
Mendelsohn, who took a second stab at winning the culinary challenge show "Top Chef" during its all-star season, brings viewers up to speed in the first episode. "After 'Top Chef,' I did something really suicidal. I went into business with my family," he joked, explaining how the Mendelsohn clan opened its first two restaurants on Capitol Hill, with more to come. "President Obama is one of my customers, and I run Good Stuff Eatery, so Obama comes to me when he needs to have a burger," Mendelsohn said. "I could sit back and be the next Ronald McDonald, but I don't want to just be burgers and fries for the rest of my life," he continued. Mendelsohn is opening his next concept, a steak-frites place called Bearnaise Restaurant, later this fall.
Chef Jennifer Carroll's episode of "Life After Top Chef" begins in late February 2012, when she took over the reigns of chef R.J. Cooper's D.C. eatery, Rogue 24. Carroll was trying to open her own restaurant in Philadelphia, but money problems hindered the effort. Cooper gets a brief cameo showing her around his kitchen, located several blocks from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. "I am going to be making some of the things that were supposed to be on my menu at my restaurant," Carroll explained. As a bonus, another "Top Chef" alum and Graffiato owner, chef Mike Isabella, is shown stopping by to lend Carroll his support.
"Life After Top Chef" debuts Oct. 3 at 10 p.m. on Bravo.