Dear Spike:

I saw you on Saturday walking up 18th Street NW—-just a few days after you were eliminated on Top Chef for the mistake of thinking you could make something edible from frozen scallops. Oh, Spike. We passed each other in front of Tryst. Maybe you saw me, too. I definitely noticed you because you were wearing one of your trademark hats, the kind of hats maybe a Beastie Boy would have worn back in the day. Maybe that look still works in Williamsburg. I don’t know. I don’t get up there all that much except for shows.

I also picked up the fact that you were clutching a clipboard. Did you need me to sign something? You should have asked. I am generally against wars, generally very pro-environment, and definitely have a thing or two to say about meters in cabs. But if you had asked, I probably would have told you that I couldn’t sign my name to such causes because I am a journalist. You would have thought I was a righteous jerk. You may have then muttered something about my free weekly seeming smaller than it used to be. So I’m thankful that we only passed each other on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Don’t worry this is not going to turn into one of those ads frequently found in the back of this publication. Nor can this be a Gawker-stalker style piece. You have probably long since left 18th Street—-so what would be the point?

You are probably wondering why I am bothering to write about seeing you. I’m writing because you just looked so down. Maybe you are sore about losing to that chef who makes gross faces at the judges during elimination rounds. Maybe you are still upset that your frozen scallops didn’t beat out her peanut-butter mashed potatoes. Maybe you are tired of wearing those hats.

I am full of speculation because we didn’t talk. We just passed each other. I was too chicken to say anything.

I’m here now to tell you to chill out. You still have your burger restaurant opening, your “pilot” that will surely launch a burger franchise. You still seem like a pretty good chef with a passion that translated well at least on television screens. Don’t worry. There’s no way that you turned into this guy.

Anyway. So when is that restaurant opening here? And who do you think will win Top Chef?

Jason Cherkis