June 01, 2023

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS — With 18 restaurants worldwide and his hands-on approach it seems impossible that Chef David Burke has the time for a new hobby. However, with four decades of experience and numerous awards behind him, Burke has proven more than once he’s one very smart and determined cookie.

Burke’s new hobby does most of the work for him. Beekeeping.

Earlier in the spring, master beekeeper Richard Bushey installed two hives in a sunny corner at Chef Burke’s Atlantic Highlands home. Things have been buzzing ever since.

“Now I look down my balcony at the hives and I smile,” said Chef Burke about his bee colonies. “I wonder how they’re doing and I start thinking about what I’m going to do with the honey. I’ll flavor some, use some as gifts, use it to cook with and to make drinks. Bees are complex and smart, amazing and fascinating.”

Bushey has approximately 300 hives placed in open spaces around Monmouth County. He and his wife Carla operate a six-acre farm in Holmdel — Oak Hill Farms — where they sell health, beauty and food products made from the honey they harvest.

But Bushey and Burke have more in common than their fascination with bees, they share a passion for excellence and a nonstop work ethos. 

The Biting Bee

Cocktail Recipe by Richard Bushey

I think of relaxing firepit evenings and an ever-faithful Bee’s Knees in my hand. You may be wondering why I dubbed this twist on the cocktail the Biting Bee. Inspired by my loving wife Carla’s spicy personality (wink-wink), I fire things up a bit by swapping out the standard honey with our homemade hot honey! We elevate this awesome drink by adding an egg white, a dry shake, then ice, and a cold shake before we pour! This technique will add a beautiful texture and volume to this all-time classic. Now we have something to celebrate. So let’s raise one up to our Biting Bee! Just don’t get stung… INGREDIENTS 

3 oz gin 

1 oz lemon juice 

1 oz hot honey syrup 

1 egg white 

1 C ice 

1 chunk of honeycomb (to garnish) 

1 dash bee pollen (to garnish) 

MIXING DIRECTIONS 1. Crack an egg and pour the egg white only into a shaker. 2. Add the gin, hot honey syrup, and lemon juice to the shaker. 3. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds. 4. Fill the shaker halfway with ice, and shake vigorously again for 15-20 seconds until chilled. 5. Pour the mixture into a coupe glass. 6. Garnish with a chunk of honeycomb on top and a little dash of pollen. RICH’S TIP It’s very important to note that when you start shaking the contents, the first shake should be dry (without ice). This will allow the egg whites to form a nice foam.

Biting Bee Honey Cocktail









Photo Credits for Cocktail: Jessica Morrisy Photography

Photo credit for Chef Burke and beekeeper Rich Bushey, David Burke Hospitality Management

For information about bee keeping American Bee Federation – http://www.abfnet.org/

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