Chef David Burke

Chef Burke’s honors and awards are too numerous to catalogue, but include such notable recognition as:

  • Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Diplome d’Honneur. The only American to ever secure the 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, 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
  • Ernst & Young’s New Jersey Entrepreneur of the Year
  • TEDx Speaker
  • Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration, Johnson & Wales University

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; doctor of business administration, honoris causa; and beekeeper.  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 18 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 became a familiar face on the popular TV show “Top Chef.“

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 early 2020 advent of the Covid-19 pandemic threatened that expansion; 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 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 Fox & Falcon became Fox & Falcon by David Burke in Feb. 2023; and, a month later. The second Red Horse by David Burke debuted in White Plains, NY.

In April 2023, Burke took on Cornelius, NC’ s Port City Club as his first lakeside establishment and the 18th in his current restaurant portfolio.


Over the years, Chef Burke has become one of the most recognized chefs on television, including appearances on two seasons of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, a guest spot on the Every Day with Rachael Ray show, NBC’s TODAY Show, Bloomberg’s small-business television series The Mentor, and more. He is currently developing concepts to bring his unique take on the culinary world to your screen.


Chef Burke partners with successful organizations as a culinary consultant, developing products and menus. Looking to partner with Chef David Burke? Click here to contact #TeamChewDoin.

aramark logo

Culinary Consultant & Menu Design

bowlmor lanes logo

Culinary Director & Menu Development

crumbs bake shop logo

Development of premium sandwich and salad line

lufthansa logo

Culinary Consultant & Menu Design

Holland America Line logo

Culinary Ingenuities Consultant
Signature recipes highlighted on all 14 ships

Honest Plate and Chef Burke logo

Culinary Consultant

pepsi logo

Development of culinary innovations for #PEPCITY, PepsiCo’s pre-game Superbowl celebration

Samuel Adams logo

Celebrity Head Chef, Annual Spit BBQ
Recipe development

singapore airlines logo

Culinary Consultant & Menu Design

USTA logo

U.S. Open Celebrity Chef and consultant for Champions Bar & Grille in Arthur Ashe Stadium


Chef Burke actively supports numerous charity and community groups. Interested in having Chef Burke support your organization? Click here to contact Chef Burke and #TeamChewdoin.

Organizations that Chef Burke has supported include:

David Burke Feed The Heroes logo
american red cross logo
meals on wheels logo
table to table logo
march of dimes logo
city meals on wheels logo
American Cancer Society logo
City Harvest logo
The Foodbank logo
Share Our Strength logo
Culinary Kickoff logo
Help USA logo



Chef Burke is actively involved in culinology, an approach to food blending culinary arts and food technology. As a culinary pioneer, Burke’s innovations and revolutionizing techniques appear on menus all over the world. Chef Burke owns the patent for the unique process by which he uses pink Himalayan salt to dry-age his steaks for up to 100 days.



Chef David Burke has a complete line of licensed cookware from pots and pans to knives to bakeware and everything in-between.


Chef David Burke has put his spin on steak sauce, chips, popcorn, beef jerky, coffee and more.

Gourmet Pops

Ready-To-Serve Cheesecake Lollipops

Pastrami Salmon

Available Through Acme Smoked Fish

Flavor Spray



David Burke has published two cookbooks, Cooking With David Burke (1999) and David Burke’s New American Classics (2006) co-written by Judith Choate.

Cooking With David Burke book cover

By David Burke, Carmel Berman Reingold

New American Classics book cover

By David Burke, Judith Choate


DB Meat Aging Process Patent

US Patent #7,998,517 B2

DB Serving Tray Patent

US Patent #362,787

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