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David Burke

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Burke Responds

The chef denies a Hawaiian Tropic Zone manager's claim that he groped her.

By Daniel Maurer

Burke at Work

David Burke will rename davidburke and donatella and open a fish house, Fishtail.

By Daniel Maurer

Ten Moments to Remember From 2007

“Life fades … vision dims … and all that remains is memory.” Such are the haunting first words of The Road Warrior, and we can’t help but think of them as we look back, through heavy lids, at the year that was. 2007 was a memorable restaurant year in so many ways, but there are a few that stick out in our minds. Our favorite moments of the last year would definitely have to include:

What to Expect on Your Job Interview With Gordon Ramsay

Starchefs plugs big-name chefs as often as Heinz bottles ketchup, so you'll find all the top toques in their new guidebook, Chefs to Know. Aimed at aspiring kitchen lackeys, the book is fun for civilian perusal as well, if only for the “offbeat restaurants,” favorite kitchen tools, and, best of all, their go-to job interview question.

Gordo Envisions Demise of Bruni; David Burke Scores Cabaret License

Gordo scoffs at Frank Bruni for panning his restaurant after the Times critic called to “schmarm” him and ask about a dish since “if you don’t know what you’re criticising, then don’t write about it.” But the snappy chef still feels generous toward food critics: He’ll “do all the canapés at their funerals free of charge.” [Daily Star] David Burke just acquired a cabaret license for Hawaiian Tropic Zone, though thankfully it won’t be Burke himself doing the dancing but rather professionals copying the Pussycat Dolls. [NYP] Smart small businesses like Little Cupcake Bake Shop in Bay Ridge are leading the green front because they can “benefit from conservation efforts in two ways — by saving money on their monthly utility bills and by raising their profile in the community for much less money than they might spend on local advertising.” [NYT]

Primehouse Opening in Flatiron; Trabocchi Siphoned Former Staff to Soho

Carroll Gardens: New wine bar Black Mountain Wine House on Union Street is filled to the brim with lovely sipping ladies. [Eat for Victory/VV] Flatiron: Diddy has closed Justin’s because it’s not big enough. [NYP] Stephen Hanson’s steakhouse, Primehouse, opens Monday. [Zagat] Harlem: Fall registration is open for free proper-dining lessons at “New York City’s only tuition-free etiquette school for children,” the Development and Finishing Institute. [Uptown Flavor] Soho: New Fiamma chef Fabio Trabocchi “brought with him 12 members of the staff of Maestro, in McLean, Va., his previous employer" in order to ease his New York transition. [NYT] Upper East Side: David Burke's Hudson Valley Foie Gras ‘PB&J’ Tourchon is pushing it. [NYO] Williamsburg: The best way to be sure your beef is prime is to eat at a top steakhouse, and lucky for you, according to “Amy Rubenstein, whose family owns Peter Luger, the shortage is over.” [NYP]

Why Have One David Burke Restaurant When You Can Have Three?

At the Foxwoods Food and Wine Festival this weekend, we learned that David Burke (one of the event’s headline chefs) is in talks to do not one, not two, but three restaurants for the planned MGM Grand casino. The mulleted superchef, known for his showbizzy creativity, is far along in negotiations to do a David Burke Prime steakhouse, similar in spirit to his place in Chicago; a Burke in a Box fast-food place, twin to the one at Bloomingdale's; and an as-yet-unnamed seafood restaurant, which is the most intriguing of the three. (Despite being a member of the Refined Meathead Hall of Fame, Burke’s most famous creations are his angry lobster and his pastrami salmon.)

Gore ’08!

Michael Moore may support Al Gore for president. A theater in the HBO building was named for former network chief Michael Fuchs, and Fuchs gave a weird, bad, awkward speech at the ceremony. Jerry Seinfeld is very excited about his upcoming Bee Movie. 50 Cent is very excited about playing a drug dealer opposite Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in his upcoming movie. A lot of racehorse owners are not pleased with Eliot Spitzer's plan for Aqueduct to be government-run. David Burke took home $10,000 after beating Bobby Flay and Sam Talbot in a poker tournament in Aspen. Jimmy Fallon wants to lose weight. "Utter pandemonium" broke out, says a "Page Six" source, after Debra Messing, Mike Nichols, and other guests were rained upon during the Public Theater's premiere of Romeo and Juliet in Central Park. (Actually, we thought it was pretty fun.) Ian Claus dedicated his first book to Chelsea Clinton.

Don't Put Ketchup on Your Steak, Pleads Carly Skinner of Davidburke & Donatella

Carly Skinner was a server at Houston’s before she came to Upper East Side foodie fixture davidburke & donatella. The change was not a small one. “I had to learn a new food vocabulary,” she says. “I was working with servers who had been at places like Le Cirque for twenty years.” Nine months later, she’s now a captain at the restaurant and training to be a sommelier. We asked her to enlighten us about fussy diners, angry lobsters, and smelly smokers.