With the premiere of Top Chef All-Stars (tonight at 10 pm on Bravo!) us DC residents will once again have a chance to see some DC based contestants try and bring their A-game to the Top Chef kitchen. While viewers can obviously get passionate about chefs from anywhere in the country, there is a special appeal in rooting for the local guy/girl.  But which Top Chef All-Star should be considered the local DC fan favorite?  To find out, I queried a couple dozen top Washington, DC food bloggers and 15 of them weighed in with their thoughts.

The All-Stars season features three chefs who currently reside in DC:

Spike Mendelsohn – Owner of Good Stuff Eatery and We, the Pizza, both on Capitol Hill. 5th place, Season 4.

Mike Isabella – Former head chef at Zaytinya, currently in the process of opening Italian-inspired Graffiato in Penn Quarter. 7th place, Season 6.

Carla Hall – Owner, Alchemy by Carla Hall. 3rd place, Season 5.

So who do DC food bloggers think should be the local fan favorite? Which of those three contestants are DC food bloggers pulling for themselves?

The overwhelming consensus of Washington, DC food bloggers is that Spike Mendelsohn has best promoted and ingrained himself into the DC food community and should have a strong leg up on being considered the DC “local favorite” Here’s a few thoughts from some DC food bloggers:

Spike really seems to care about DC and food. He is also really present in both his ventures and has become part of the neighborhood.

Spike is more DC: he aces promoting himself (like a good politician) and opened on-trend restaurants featuring pizza and burgers

Local favorite would go to Spike, he’s personable, very charismatic…plus his food is a lot more accessible, especially now that Mike has moved on from Zaytina and what with Carla being a caterer.

While DC food bloggers agree that Spike has the inside track on being the local favorite, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all pulling for him (although a plurality are). When asked which of these three contestants they would be rooting for, here’s how the votes broke down:

(15 total votes)

  • Spike Mendelsohn: 7
  • Mike Isabella: 3
  • Carla Hall: 3
  • Undecided: 2

We’ve heard from the bloggers, let’s hear from the readers! If you’re based in, or from the DC area, let us know your thoughts!

[poll id=”127″]

4 Responses

  1. just sayin

    Heavens knows that I love me some Carla Hall, but Spike’s thunderous appearance on the DC food scene with two well-loved joints on the Hill put him way ahead of the pack. Can’t have the same impact from catering and teaching.

  2. Anthony

    Carla most loveable and rootable cheftestant ever!! She had me at her first hootie!!!

  3. Karen

    Oh Carla, definitely. She’s done a ton of local benefits to raise money for local causes


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