Spike Mendelsohn announced today that not only does he have acid reflux disease, but also that he's teaming up with a pharmaceutical company to endorse the drug he's taking in a move that is all shades of Paula Deen's controversial diabetes pharma sponsorship. Because chefs endorsing pharmaceutical companies is apparently going to be a thing now. Anyway, from now on, Mendelsohn will be a spokesperson for Takeda Pharmaceuticals and their prescription medication Dexilant — which means he will be doing things like offering up "lifestyle tips" and cooking with people who have acid reflux disease.
There are already a bunch of videos of Mendelsohn on the campaign's website, Don't Let it Burn, in which he explains that he's "cooking up an exciting recipe" with Takeda. He shares his acid reflux diagnosis story and how the stress of his busy life of opening up restaurants — like, hey, that one that's opening in Crystal City next week — can make it worse. What else can make acid reflux symptoms worse? Well, fried and fatty foods like maybe the hamburgers and pizza he sells at his restaurants. Mendelsohn addresses this as well, saying:
"While diet doesn't necessarily cause acid reflux, it can make symptoms worse. I love savoring great meals, but to help make sure I can do that without bringing on heartburn, I've learned to reduce or adapt certain foods."
There's also a contest for people to share their own acid reflux stories and the winner gets to cook with Mendelsohn at their own home. And since there are going to be all kinds of recipes on the Dexilant website, Mendelsohn offers up cooking tips such as: keep your knives sharp, plan menus in advance, create a kitchen playlist, get a sous chef to boss around and "seasonal cooking is always a must."
Video: Spike Shilling