For all you foodies out there, you can literally get married with internationally awarded celebrity chef David Burke now that The Château Grande Hotel in East Brunswick has partnered with him to cater all future events, including weddings, held at the new, boutique hotel. In fact, the rock star chef can even officiate your ceremony! Chef Burke, who was once dubbed “Culinary Prankster” by NYC food critics, is now an ordained minister.
Chef Burke also leads Orchard Park by David Burke, an instantly successful American brasserie located within the exquisite, new boutique Château Grande Hotel.
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With intimate, food-centric weddings becoming more popular than ever, the Burke-Château Grande team offers a winning combo for a personalized wedding that pairs an exquisite location with gourmet cuisine. And it’s not just weddings—the Chef Burke-run kitchen is available for wedding rehearsal dinners, suite breakfast or lunches and recovery brunches. Château Grande Events by David Burke is also responsible for all private events at the hotel. Wedding couples also have the option for Chef David Burke to marry them. A man of many talents, Chef Burke is an ordained minister.
“Château Grande Events by David Burke is providing fine dining restaurant food from Orchard Park’s state-of-the-art kitchen at all events held here,” says Chef Burke. “It’s not banquet food for a catered event. Our seasonally driven menus are custom designed and personalized for each event; they are creative, delicious and dramatic.”
“The accommodations, the service and the food all exceeded our expectations,” says Carla Theophile, the bride at one of Château Grande’s first wedding events. “We are over the moon with the dining experience Chef David Burke created. Our guests continue to rave about our wedding to this day!”
Château Grande is owned by brothers Joe and Barry Maurillo, and their long-time friend and business partner Vito Cucci. The trio, who also run Park Chateau Estate & Gardens next door, in addition to The Park Savoy and Nanina’s in the Park, has spared no expense in creating Château Grande. Marble floors, plush furnishings, handblown Italian bubble chandeliers and expansive windows are just some of the chic décor details.
“For some couples looking for a more intimate and personalized wedding, smaller is often better,” said Joe Maurillo, noting that Château Grande can accommodate a minimum of 60 and maximum of 120 guests. “And with that size gathering, the menu can be customized as well.”
To ensure all events are unique and customized, all couples and their guests (four guests including the wedding couple, maximum) receive a courtesy tasting dinner at Orchard Park. They enjoy a face-to-face meeting with the executive chef to discuss themes, personal preferences, cultural and/or family traditions, special diet requirements and any other concerns.
“We work with the couples to create their menu to suit their taste and sense of style making sure their special day is flavorful, beautiful and memorable,” Chef Burke says. “My team and I take full responsibility for every wedding, large or small, and make sure every dish comes out perfect and is served with finesse, because our name in on the plate.”
Donna Perruzza, a bride who recently held her reception at Château Grande, loved her experience. “We opted for a cocktail-style event instead of a formal sit-down dinner,” Perruzza says. She chose six passed hors d’oeuvres, a carving station, an interactive taco station and chocolate fountain. “We had to have lobster rolls on the menu, because Chris and I had met as undergrads in New England and it is one of our favorites.”
“We always make things a little different and special,” says Chef Burke. The lobster rolls were made with poached fresh Maine lobster. The meat was chopped into small chunks with crème Fraiche and a little butter to bind the mixture and lightly seasoned with tarragon. Right before serving the potato brioche rolls are lightly seared adding another layer of flavor and texture. The rolls were placed on trays decorated with a whole cooked lobster and passed to the guests while still warm.
A wedding held at Château Grande allows for great flexibility and variety of ways to celebrate, before, during and after. Rehearsal dinners can be held in Orchard Park’s private wine room, or during warmer months on the fully protected outdoor Orchard Terrace featuring its own bar, large screen TV, custom high-end furnishings, cozy fire features, or in the La Pomme private dining room adjacent to the Angélique Ballroom.
On the day of the wedding, ceremonies can be held outdoors (weather permitting) among the manicured lawns and flower gardens, or in the Angélique Ballroom. The cocktail hour can be held in the La Pomme private dining room or on the patio beyond two sets of French doors in the ballroom. Tented events can also be accommodated on 15-acre campus. Recovery breakfast and brunches can take place in Orchard Park’s main dining room, on the Terrace or in La Pomme.
And for an added bonus, couples who celebrate their wedding at Château Grande Hotel can return for overnight stays and dinner or Sunday brunch. “We love the fact there is a wonderful restaurant,” said Perruzza. “We plan on celebrating our anniversary there every year.”
Chef David Burke also offers total buyouts at his six of his other New Jersey restaurants for your wedding or wedding-related event (think rehearsal dinners and engagement parties):
- DRIFTHOUSE by David Burke, Sea Bright. This magnificent oceanfront setting is now celebrating its fourth anniversary and has been named Best New Restaurant 2018, Star Ledger; Best Seafood Restaurants in NJ 2021, by BestofNJ.com.
1776 by David Burke featuring TopGolf Swing Suite, Morristown. This stunning new restaurant received a rare 3.5 star-rating by NJ Monthly and Top 20 Steakhouses in NJ in 2022. Set in historic downtown Morristown with convenient ample parking.
Red Horse by David Burke, Rumson.This modern-American steakhouse with sushi bar is located in a charming Victorian building that once housed the legendary Fromagerie. David Burke worked here while he was a CIA student. It is now a super-chic art-filled setting serving a NYC-level dining experience. Named “Best New Restaurant 2021” by NJ Monthly and Star Ledger.
Son Cubano, West New York. A modern Latin menu is served up amidst a stunning décor of by-gone, glamorous Cuba, with the world’s most romantic NYC skyline views. Included in AARP’s “10 Top Cities For Latin American Food” and a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence wine list, artisan hand-crafted cocktails.
THE GOAT by David Burke, Union Beach. The newest David Burke restaurant is a chic, casual American bistro with a fun vibe. The menu takes its cue from modern Continental and American cuisines with Chef Burke’s award-winning innovative interpretations. Unique wood-fired oven. The restaurant’s bar and dining spaces—with 110 seats, and a separate private event space that accommodates up to 100 guests—have undergone extensive cosmetic renovations with partially open kitchen and wood-burning oven on display.
VENTANAS Restaurant & Lounge, Fort Lee. This sexy restaurant with a magnetic vibe and chic décor has a massive circular bar and floating sea creature chandeliers, open kitchen and main dining room with wall of floor-to-ceiling windows (ventanas in Spanish), outdoor patio overlooking man-made pond and water fountain. World-class menu with an eclectic array of Modern American, Latin flavors and Asian cuisines. Named among the country’s “100 Best Restaurants for a Date 2021” by opentable.com and NJ Monthly 2020 coveted three-star review.