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"Top Chef" All-Star, DC Restaurant Owner Spike Mendelsohn Plays Santa Claus in Anacostia | Community Spirit

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"Top Chef" All-Star, DC Restaurant Owner Spike Mendelsohn Plays Santa Claus in Anacostia
"Top Chef" All-Star, DC Restaurant Owner Spike Mendelsohn Plays Santa Claus in Anacostia

On Tuesday, December 14th, “Top Chef” Season 4 contestant and current All-Star Spike Mendelsohn played Saint Nick.

Mendelsohn, who owns Capitol Hill gourmet burger joint Good Stuff Eatery as well as We The Pizza(which is right next door), joined forces with SunTrust and MasterCard in an effort to make the holidays a little brighter for needy Anacostia families.  The chef donated $5,000 worth of holiday gifts to Horton’s Kids, a charity dedicated to the children of Ward 8, and visited the organization's Community Center in Southeast with the presents to help spread the holiday cheer.

"I grew up in the restaurant business and we were always really involved in charities and organizations...I remember dishwashing at my parents' restaurant and Christmas season would come around and we'd have a huge tree, and we'd buy presents and put them under the tree for less fortunate kids,"  Mendelsohn recalled.  "A lot of families would come to the restaurant and we'd hand gifts out.  It's kind of cool 20 years later:  Here I am doing it on my own, doing the same thing.  The holidays to me are really about sharing, love, and giving to those who are less fortunate."

Donning a Santa Claus hat instead of one of his trademark fedoras, Mendelsohn passed out a variety of gifts for children including board games and soccer balls, as well as family necessities such as blankets and pots and pans.

"For many years we've been serving the (children of Ward 8) and one of our favorite projects is the holidays," Brenda Chamberlain, Executive Director of Horton's Kids, said.  "This time of year we do lots of things for the families including getting gifts for the children.  In addition to all the amazing volunteers and donors that work with Horton's Kids, Chef Spike is here today passing out various things for our families like pots and pans and board games...These gifts really mean the world to the children."

Check out the video above to see more.

See what "Top Chef" secret Chef Spike let WUSA9 in on here!