Meet the Team
CHEF DAVID GAUS
New Orleans-born and raised TV personality and Chef David Guas is widely popular from his frequent appearances on “The Today Show,” “The Talk,” “Food Network,” and his role as host and co-judge of Travel Channel’s summer competition series, “American Grilled.”
Guas, a two-time Food & Wine “People’s Best New Chef: Mid-Atlantic” nominee, has garnered national praise in publications like Southern Living, Garden & Gun, Saveur, and Bon Appétit for showcasing the soul of the South in his sinfully delicious, Louisiana-style favorites and signature desserts at his neighborly Arlington, Virginia restaurant, established in 2010, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery. .
His first cookbook, DamGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style [Taunton Press 2009] was a James Beard Award finalist and was named one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Dessert Cookbooks.” Guas completed his second cookbook with Oxmoor House, Grill Nation: 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips, and Techniques to Grill like a Pro, in April 2015.
Guas is the co-founder of Chefs Feeding Families with Real Food For Kids; he was tapped by the U.S. State Department to participate in its Diplomatic Culinary Partnership Initiative; and is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, Slow Food USA, Share Our Strength, and Chefs for Equality. In 2019, the Wild American Shrimp Processors Association named David Guas Chef of the Year. He formerly served on the board of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans; the board of Best Buddies of Virginia; as a spokesperson for the National Honey Board; and on the advisory council of the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival.
CHEF SPIKE MENDELSOHN
Chef Spike’s career, spanning nearly three decades, can be described as nothing short of creatively diverse. From chef and restaurateur to television personality, product developer and consultant, Spike is a force to be reckoned with in the culinary world.
In 2008, Chef Spike and his family, (parents Harvey and Cathy, sister Micheline), opened Good Stuff Eatery, a handmade burger, handspun milkshake and hand-cut fries restaurant. The success of this eatery inspired a cookbook (The Good Stuff Cookbook) and the development of We, The Pizza and Santa Rosa Taqueria, all located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Since then, the Mendelsohns have opened multiple locations across the country and overseas.
Spike’s popularity paved the way for his DC speakeasies, The Sheppard and The Morris. He is also working on The St. James Sports Wellness and Active Entertainment Center a sport complex that is the largest in the Northeast quadrant of the city.
In an effort to put his passion for food equity and education into action, Chef Spike began working with organizations like CARE and DC Central Kitchen as a chef ambassador and contributor. His work landed him a position as the first chairman of DC’s Food Policy Council.
With over a quarter of a century of experience as a Public Relations Executive in the high-end hospitality industry, native New Orleanian Simone Rathlé is highly respected in her field for her successful media contributions, and her firm is considered among the country’s top independently owned public relations and marketing agencies promoting tourism and hospitality.
Her media consulting firm, simoneink, is known for its select roster of clients in the hospitality arena specializing in contemporary and historic hotels, exclusive resorts and spas, award-winning chefs and mixologists, specialty products, distinguished restaurateurs, and distinctive destinations. Many of her clients are located in the heart of New Orleans. The firm prides itself on its commitment to giving back to the community through representation of select non-profit associations and events.
Named one of the Best 20 PR Firms in Washington, DC by Expertise, simoneink is proud of its superior client retention rates, and has helped numerous valued clients grow over the course of decades together.
MICHELINE MENDELSOHN LUHN
Micheline Mendelsohn Luhn is Deputy CEO of the Sunnyside Restaurant Group, managing We, The Pizza; Good Stuff Eatery; and Santa Rosa Taqueria.
Micheline brings her unparalleled marketing and communications expertise to the Sunnyside Restaurant Group. Her education in journalism and Master’s degree in International Relations from The University of Chicago prepared her to launch Good Stuff Eatery into the limelight with savvy public relations and social media plans. She continued that success with the opening of We, The Pizza and Santa Rosa Taqueria, both fast casual brands.
Micheline plays a major role in the expansion of these brands across the globe. She serves on the Board of Directors for DC Central Kitchen and is a member of Les Dames D’Escoffier.
Mixologist Gina Chersevani was born into a culinary family in New York City. Her inherent understanding of flavor profiles, coupled with her part time college job as a bartender, hours spent in the chemistry lab, in-depth literary and fine arts knowledge, and her quick wit were a recipe for success.
Using these skills, Gina created her own dream career, establishing herself as one of DC’s leading mixologists. Her from-scratch cocktails are non-traditional, award-winning and use local, unconventional ingredients while showcasing Gina’s larger-than-life personality.
Her 1930s-style soda counter, Buffalo & Bergen [Capitol Hill & Union Market] serves up drink and nosh, a nod to her own roots as well as drinks of days past. In addition to Buffalo & Bergen, Gina has spearheaded two other unique establishments. Suburbia, a 1967 Airstream trailer bar, is one of the hottest spots in DC each summer with its draft cocktails, can craft beer, and from-scratch frozen drinks and Sno-Cones. And, Last Call Bar - “This place is built for fun — to watch the game, chill out with a drink and sandwich, and be in and out for $11,” she says.
Gina is known for her extensive support of the DC community, and is actively involved with area nonprofits, including Martha’s Table and No Kid Hungry.
Bruce Pike is the dynamic CEO and founder of the highly respected Washington, DC-based production company, Pike Productions. Bruce is a DMV-area native, originally from Frederick, Maryland and holding a degree from the University of Maryland. It was during his time in college that he founded Pike Productions, a business which has continuously evolved throughout the past 17 years, garnering high praise from countless other businesses and clients.
Skilled in areas ranging from event planning to audiovisual equipment, Pike is a seasoned professional and is known for his ability to deliver clear, satisfying results to his clients.
Through events overseen by Pike Productions, Bruce has contributed significantly to charities, nonprofits, and community organizations, including Best Buddies, Atlas Corps, and KIPP DC. Pike has a sincere connection with New Orleans as he and his wife, Shelby, chose the Crescent City for their matrimonial vows.