David Burke

David Burke
Participating Events
6:30 PM - 10:00 PM Saturday, May 4
David Burke

Table 101 – VIP Grand Tasting – Grand Rotunda {View Map}

Dish – Tea Smoked Duck + Duck Liver Dumpling with jasmine, ginger peach, plum

Table 62 – 1776 by David Burke – The Grand Tasting – Garden Room {View Map}

Dish – Clothesline Bacon

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 with his signature whimsical, boundlessly creative approach to food.  In addition to being an internationally celebrated chef, Burke is a restaurateur, artist, philanthropist, businessperson, author, educator, art collector, puppeteer, minister and a doctor of business administration, honoris causa. David Burke Hospitality Management (DBHM) owns, manages, licenses, and consults with restaurants, hotels, clubs, and schools worldwide. Currently, Burke and his DBHM team operate or orchestrate the culinary component of 22 restaurants, a historic event venue and a bakery. They also oversee a growing roster of David Burke branded products, including cookware, bakeware, steak sauce, cutlery, and wine.

Known for his industry insight, culinary accomplishments, business acumen and candid observations, Burke is often a leading contributor to major news sources, such as ABC TV, Forbes, Fox TV, Bloomberg and more. He is also frequently called upon to play the role of event honoree, speaker, and judge. 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 Café, where he earned a prestigious three-star review from The New York Times. While at River Café, he became the first (and remains the only) American to win the prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Diplome d’Honneur, cementing his status as a leading chef on the global culinary stage. He subsequently won Japan’s Nippon Award for Excellence, and the Robert Mondavi Award of Excellence, all of which earned him a place in James Beard’s  Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.  Burke has been nominated twice for James Beard’s Best Chef and was a familiar face on the popular Top Chef TV show.

After opening several restaurants with the founder of the iconic Smith & Wollensky steakhouse brand, and having established a remarkable reputation, Burke set his sights on growing his brand.  The first building block was the highly regarded David Burke & Donatella, which debuted in 2003. He went on to form a hospitality company that owned and operated numerous award-winning restaurants around the country.  It was during this period that Burke gained US patents for several innovations, including his famous Himalayan salt dry aging process for beef.

In the early 1990s, Burke founded DB Global and later, in 2015, DBHM to further expand his footprint and to showcase what had become the culinary, decorative, and operational hallmarks of the David Burke brand.

The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic threatened that growth; however, Burke continued to push forward.  He created the #Feed the Heroes program, which prepared and delivered more than 100,000 meals to frontline workers and charities.   

Sheer boredom during the months-long lockdown spurred his hugely popular and hilarious cooking demos “LeftobyDB,” with Lefto, a puppet bearing an uncanny resemblance to Burke with unruly gray hair, large-framed glasses, and chef’s coat. In addition, Burke launched a virtual online cooking demo program, CookinDB IGTV, and employee incentive initiatives tailor-made for Fortune 500 companies like Verizon.

And, rather than retrenching, he opened eight new Burke-branded restaurants in North Carolina, Saudi Arabia, and his home state of New Jersey, where he now has seven restaurant operations and a bakery. Burke’s April 2022 purchase of the then 89-year-old Dixie Lee Bakery saved it from closure.

In New Jersey, he also established the David Burke Scholarship at Brookdale Community College for which his annual donation of $10,000 pays the tuition for two students every year – one a culinary arts major, the other majoring in hospitality management. 

With the pandemic in the rear-view mirror, he is focusing on building a national presence for what is now Dixie Lee Bakery by David Burke and establishing Red Horse by David Burke as a burgeoning steakhouse brand.  To those ends, Dixie Lee’s products will soon be sold on Goldbelly and Amazon; South Lawn, NJ’s popular The Fox & Falcon became The Fox & Falcon by David Burke in Feb. 2023; and, a month later, the second Red Horse by David Burke debuted in White Plains, NY.

April 2023 saw Burke taking on Cornelius, SC’ s Port City Club as his first lakeside establishment.  Three months later he announced DBHM will assume the reins of New Jersey’s historic Bernards Inn, operating not only the property’s two dining venues and banquet hall, but its guest accommodations as well. The Bernards Inn partnership hails Burke’s entry into the hotel management arena.

The first phase of the Bernards Inn project, the re-do of the property’s main dining room debuted in early November as the third Red Horse by David Burke. (The second opening for the burgeoning brand in 2023). It was joined by The Bernie, a casual eatery featuring a broad range of lively entertainment.

Meanwhile, Burke began the expansion of a second brand, The Fox & Falcon by David Burke, with the late September opening of its second location in Charlotte, NC.

December 2023 saw the launch of Park Ave Kitchen, as part of the $120 million renovation of one of Park Avenue’s most prestigious office tower.  A restaurant with a dual persona, visually and gastronomically, it is one-part American brasserie and one-part café-market.  The latter marking Burke’s first venture into the grab-n-go space.