Born in Brent, England in 1976, David C. Felton knew at a young age that a passion for food and cooking would be his calling. As a young child, David was always in the kitchen helping out with whatever he could, even if for a few short seconds.
After graduating from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Culinary Arts, David began an apprenticeship of his own design. He set out to journey around the country to live, work and most importantly, eat in as many diverse settings as he could. This culinary expedition led him through an impressive 42 out of the 50 US states. An early stop was in Kansas City, Missouri, where he worked under Chefs Michael Smith and Debbie Gold at the American Restaurant. They later recruited David as chef de Cuisine to help them launch 40 Sardines. It was here that he was honored as one of “America’s Top Ten Sous Chefs” in a nationwide competition, sponsored by Bertolli Olive Oil.
Not satisfied with this career path, David came to New York City and connected with famed Manhattan chef Gary Robins. David joined Gary to help oversee the opening of the kitchen of The Biltmore Room which received a 3-star rating from The New York Times. However, David found himself searching for more and left The Biltmore Room to accept a teaching position at a small culinary school, The Natural Gourmet Institute of Health and Culinary Arts. While at The Institute, David re-discovered his zest for using local and sustainable food sources.
After working at The Institute for a few years, David realized he missed the long hours and crazy pace of kitchen life. He became Executive Chef of Blue in Surf City, New Jersey, which was named “Best of the Shore” by Philadelphia Magazine. David then became the Executive Chef of The Pluckemin Inn in Bedminster, NJ where he was finally at liberty to put his stamp on the food he creates.
As soon as David heard about Natirar the project happening in Peapack-Gladstone NJ, he started campaigning for the executive chef position. To not only serve food farm to table, but to have a farm at the table was this young chefs’ dream, and he knew he was the right person for the job. With 14 acres of farm with livestock and produce growing steps away from his Ninety Acres kitchen, David is ready to put his personal food philosophy to the test. New Jersey has an abundance of products available to him and what he cannot raise or grow himself he will purchase from other farmers in the area. Sweet dreams are made of this.