This September, Spike Mendelsohn is teaming up with sauerkraut companies and a handful of DC chefs for a monthlong promotion called Kraut Rocks that will bravely attempt to prove the coolness of sauerkraut to the people of Washington. This is just the latest addition to Mendelsohn's busy agenda of expanding Good Stuff Eatery, opening a steak-frites restaurant, competing on Next Iron Chef, sailing on Top Chef: The Cruise, filming a show about life after Top Chef and serving as spokesman for an acid reflux medication.
So what's the deal with Kraut Rocks? Well, Mendelsohn has rounded up a pretty great roster of five local chefs — several of whom are based on H Street NE — who have each created a dish that's primarily sauerkraut-based. Those dishes will be on their menus for the entire month of September, during which time people will be able to vote online for their favorite dishes. There's also going to be a sweepstakes for which the grand prize is a $250 gift certificate to the winning restaurant or to one of Mendelsohn's restaurants.
Erik Bruner-Yang of Toki Underground: Suan cai pork belly rice with congee
Fabrice Reymond of Redline: Aumoniere
Ian Reeves of The Queen Vic: Pork loin with sauerkraut and roasted apples
Teddy Folkman of Granville Moore's: Kraut Rocks mussels
Ryan Wheeler of Virtue Feed & Grain: Sauerkraut Scotch egg
There's also going to be all manner of recipes and video available on the Kraut Rocks website when it goes live on Wednesday — footage of the chefs cooking their sauerkraut dishes and talking about the evolution of H Street, coupons for sauerkraut brands Silver Floss Sauerkraut and KRRRRISP Kraut, plus behind-the-scenes of Mendelsohn and his reality TV chef buddy Mike Isabella tasting some of the dishes. Kraut Rocks provided Eater with an exclusive first look at a video of Mendelsohn, Reymond, Wheeler and Isabella discussing the growth of DC's culinary scene.
Video: Kraut Rocks DC Food Scene