CHEF DAVID BURKE
Fueled by passion, grit and a knack for artful innovation, David Burke is one of the best known and most respected chefs in modern American cuisine.
Acknowledged as a leading pioneer in American cooking, Burke, a New Jersey native, is also recognized internationally for his revolutionary techniques, exceptional skills, successful restaurant empire and his many TV appearances. In the parlance of today’s celebrity driven culture, he is a rock star of the culinary world.
At just 26, Burke’s kitchen mastery won him the executive chef position of New York City’s legendary River Cafe. While there, he became the first American ever to win the prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Diplome d’Honneur, cementing his reputation as a leading international chef. He subsequently won Japan’s Nippon Award for Excellence, the Robert Mondavi Award of Excellence and two nominations for James Beard Best Chef. Burke was also awarded a coveted three-star New York Times review for the River Café and later became a familiar guest on TV’s Top Chef.
Looking for fresh opportunities, Burke eventually set his sights on a new goal – restaurant ownership. He opened many with the founder of the iconic Smith & Wollensky steakhouse brand, and later formed a hospitality company with partners, which owned and operated numerous award-winning restaurants around the country. It was during this period he gained U.S. patents for several innovations, including his famous Himalayan salt aging process for beef. Always progressing, Burke created his own company, David Burke Group, with several sub companies including DB Global and David Burke Hospitality Management, which owns and manages, licenses and consults with restaurants, hotels, clubs and schools.
Highly recognized for his industry insight, culinary accomplishments and candid delivery Burke is often a leading contributor to major news sources such as Fox TV, ABC TV, Forbes, NYTimes, Bloomburg and more. Roles as event honoree, keynote speaker, tasting judge and speaking engagements, the most recent being TEDx Asbury Park, are too numerous to list.
A force to be reckoned with, Burke continued to push forward through the pandemic catastrophe and even experienced an uptick in sales of his high end cookware line, Freiling, available on Chef’s Website; and his namesake consumer line sold at TJMAXX, Marshalls and Home Goods. Sheer boredom during the lockdown spurred his hugely popular and hilarious cooking demos “LeftobyDB”, with Lefto the puppet bearing an uncanny resemblance to Burke with unruly gray hair, large framed glasses and chef’s coat. He also launched a virtual online cooking demo program, CookinDB IGTV, and employee incentive programs tailor-made for Fortune 500 companies like Verizon. From the ashes of the nation’s devastated restaurant industry rose five Burke restaurants including his masterpiece Orchard Park by David Burke, his first-ever complete buildout project. Another significant opening was Red Horse by David Burke at the site of one of New Jersey’s most influential fine dining restaurants where he once worked as a line chef at the beginning of his career. The modern steakhouse is named after a painting he purchased of a red horse at the beginning of the pandemic that to him signified hope. During the lockdown Burke launched #Feedthe Heroes, a program that cooked and delivered 100,000 meals to frontline workers and charities.
Burke is the author of two cookbooks, Cooking With David Burke, and David Burke’s New American Classics.
To find out more about Chef Burke, visit his official website at ChefDavidBurke.com.
- Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Diplome d’Honneur. The only American to win this honor
- Japan’s Nippon Award of Excellence
- Robert Mondavi Award of Excellence
- Culinary Art Institute’s August Escoffier Award
- James Beard Foundation Who’s Who in Culinary Arts
- Nation’s Restaurant News awarded him with the Menu Masters Award
- New Jersey Red Cross Clara Barton Humanitarian of the Year
- James Beard Foundation Best Chef New York
- Time Out New York Best Culinary Prankster