If there is one chef whose name is synonymous with NYC fine dining, it’s David Burke. The James Beard Award-winning mastermind behind restaurants like David Burke Kitchen and Tavern62 by David Burke has built a career around his simple, albeit beautiful approach to American cuisine’s most basic ingredients.
Take his famed “Clothesline” Candied Bacon as an example. We are all very clearly aware that bacon is delicious; however, Burke elevates your standard slab by dousing it in a maple black pepper blend that caramelizes its crust and turns it into almost a spicy jerky (without the TMJ-inducing chewiness, of course). Despite the dish’s simplicity, it remains one of the most buzzed-about appetizers in Manhattan today.
This no frills style to cooking has earned him great praise, both domestically and internationally. Burke regularly lends his expertise on NBC’s The Today Show and has spearheaded restaurant openings in Las Vegas, Chicago, New Jersey, D.C., and Connecticut. He has also published two best-selling cookbooks, Cooking With David Burke and David Burke’s New American Classics, and currently serves as a consulting partner for ESquared Hospitality. Additionally, Burke has received a U.S. patent for his pink Himalayan salt dry-age technique for steaks.
In a commitment to mentoring aspiring chefs, Burke appeared on two seasons of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and taped an episode of Bloomberg’s The Mentor, a series that aims to help small business owners find success.
We sat down with the esteemed chef to discuss his career, culinary influences, and plans for the future. Check out the video above for the full interview, as well as a cooking demo with three signature Tavern62 by David Burke dishes. Needless to say, those who do not reside in the NYC area will have another establishment to add to their restaurant bucket lists (or at least another place to stalk on Instagram).