You are here

A Heartburn-Proof Recipe from Top Chef Alum Spike Mendelsohn

The only kind of heat Spike likes is on his plate. (Photo courtesy Steven Freeman)

Celebrity chef and past contestant of Bravo's Top Chef Season 4 Spike Mendelsohn spends his days running from kitchen to kitchen and tasting a whole lot of food. So to be diagnosed with acid reflux disease (ARD), a condition characterized by constant heartburn despite diet and lifestyle changes was more than frustrating for him. That's why he's partnered with the Dexilant, a prescription medication that can help manage ARD to launch Don't Let It Burn, a campaign centered around helping those who suffer from the condition learn how to lower the heat. Read below to see how Spike deals with his ARD, a tasty burger recipe that won't trigger heartburn and how to enter to win a chance to cook with Spike!

What made you decide to be a part of the Don't Let It Burn campaign?

Being a chef is a pretty stressful lifestyle. Between my job and constantly tasting different foods these factors trigger my ARD. I've learned it's something you need to understand and manage, which is why I joined the campaign.

Before you had ARD, did you know that was the issue?

I was one of those guys that thought I just had bad heartburn occasionally, but once I met with my doctor and got more information I knew it was ARD. Not only that, but 19 million people also have it, which is pretty crazy if you don't know how to manage it!

ARD can definitely affect your work in the kitchen, but do you find it also affects your daily routine?

Absolutely. I am an avid coffee drinker, as most chefs are. That was a big trigger for me so I had to learn to cut back on the cups.

Read on for a heartburn-proof turkey burger recipe and a chance to get Spike in your kitchen!

These turkey burgers bring the flavor without triggering ARD. (Photo courtesy of Steven Freeman)

Spike's Free Range Turkey Burger (serves 6)


Turkey Mix

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced scallions
  • 2 green apples, diced
  • 4 tablespoons pureed mangos and 4 tablespoons pureed peaches, combined
  • 30 ounces of lean ground turkey, at least 97 percent lean
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Chunky Avocado Topping

  • 3 large avocados, pit and peel removed and diced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  • 6 multigrain potato buns, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 slices Muenster cheese
  • 6 leaves iceberg lettuce


To make the turkey mixture, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, scallions and apples. Cook, stirring for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Add pureed mangos and peaches to a bowl with the turkey and celery mixture, combine. Set aside until ready to use.

To make the topping, in a bowl combine avocado, cilantro, olive oil and sea salt. Mash together until well blended. Set aside.

To make the patties, roll six 5-ounce turkey balls and form each ball into a patty. Arrange on a tray, cover and refrigerate. Then toast the buns.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add just enough oil to cover the entire bottom. After 2 minutes, reduce the heat to medium and place the patties on the skillet. Season the patties with salt. Cook for 3 minutes, flip and cook other side for 1 minute. Place 1 slice cheese on each patty and continue to cook 2 minutes more to get the burgers medium-rare. Cover with a lid for the last 30 seconds to melt the cheese.

To assemble the burgers, place patty on bun. Top the patty with lettuce and a spoonful of the avocado topping. Enjoy!

Got a reflux-friendly recipe of your own? Share yours at and you could win the chance to cook with Spike in your own kitchen!