WaPo Food Critic Slams Unnamed Top Chef Contestant’s Food


Washington Post columnist Tom Sietsema is one of the few restaurant critics not getting fired nowadays, and he proves exactly what keeps him in business: juicy industry insider gossip.

“That not-so-top chef opening restaurants left and right?” he tweeted yesterday from DC. “Even his closest food pals are leaving their plates full @ his operations.”

Oh my goodness, is Sietsema indicating that a Top Chef contestant — a prominent one in Washington DC, at that — is bad?! Everyone, put on your monocles and deerstalkers, we have a mystery to solve…the mystery of the mysterious sucky Top Chef contestant in DC.

The suspects:

  • Mike Isabella just opened up his second DC restaurant, Bandolero, after the successful launch of Graffiato a year ago. But it can’t be him, because 1) Sietsema’s recent review of Bandolero is mostly positive, and 2) “left and right” implies that there are SO MANY RESTAURANTS. Two restaurants does not equal an empire.
  • Spike Mendelsohn has, like, a bajillion pizza and burger joints around the city, particularly near Capitol Hill. Though there are many douchey things about him floating around the internet (and the food, in my experience, was okay at best), I don’t know if a burger/pizza counter counts as a “restaurant.”
  • Bryan Voltaggio has multiple restaurants all over the DC metropolitan area, but Tom has generally liked The Shy One’s food — unless that boozy milkshake diner thing is actually not all it’s knocked up to be.
  • Xavier Cervera is technically not a “Top Chef”, but it’s not like Bravo has trademarked the term for forever and always. The dude has six restaurants already open and plans to open two more, as well as renovate DC’s favorite perennial shitshow Hawk ‘n Dove.

I have my ideas, but since I haven’t eaten in DC in a while, I have no idea who the truly Sucky Top Chef is. ATTENTION, MIKE ALLEN: Please stop trying to win the morning and focus all your crazy journalism attention onto this blind item. You’ll be…winning our stomachs. Or something.

[h/t Eater]

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