David Burke was recently inducted into the Superman Hall of Heroes. Inspired by Superman and the character attributes that define the world’s first and most recognized Super Hero, the Superman Hall of Heroes is a gift-giving program that offers a fun and inspirational way for fans to pay tribute to their heroes by submitting their photo and story online to www.SupermanHallofHeroes.com where it will be showcased in perpetuity.
David was honored for his work with the American Cancer Society, City Harvest, City Meals on Wheels, March of Dimes, the Charles Lafitte Foundation, the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, New Jersey, Share our Strength. He is currently on the board of Table to Table, a food rescue program in northern New Jersey, and works with the New Roots campaign, advocating that healthy, fresh, locally grown produce be available to everyone. He has also demonstrated the character it takes to jump up at a moment’s notice and help his community when disaster strikes. When Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast in 2012, Chef Burke, without a second thought, began loading his catering truck with prepared meals for first responders and anyone in need. This is just one example of the charitable work Burke has been involved with.
Luckily we had a chance to ask David ten questions and he was nice enough to answer all of them. Here they are!
Tell us about your childhood
Normal suburban childhood played little league, spent the summers at the beach by the Jersey Shore. Spent a lot of my free time outside.
How did you become interested in cooking?
I was a dish washer when i was a teenager and got into the restaurant business then
What is the favorite restaurant that you own?
David Burke Fromagerie in Rumson NJ
What is your favorite dish to cook?
Congrats on your induction to the Supermanhallofheroes.com. Clearly it was well deserved with your many accomplishments and generous acts. Is there any specific charity or project you’ve worked on over the years that stick out more than most?
Table to Table. I am also on the board of this Charity and it means a lot to me
What advice would you give to aspiring chefs?
Work for the best chef’s in your area. Get a diverse background and don’t chase the money; do it for the food.
What advice would you give to someone looking to open their own restaurant?
Make sure your ready it is a huge commitment, be prepared for anything and always be confident. Make sure your location is right; that is key.
Got any easy recipes for our readers?
Angry Salmon with Garlicky Clams and Macaroni
4 salmon filets; 6-8oz.
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, chili powder
1/2 cup loose packed basil
1/2 cup olive oil
18-24 littleneck clams
6 cloves garlic
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
3/4 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup cooked macaroni
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
Red pepper flakes to table
2-3 tablespoons of butter
Extra basil leaves
1) Season salmon with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and chili powder and chopped basil. Wrap in saran wrap, zip lock bag tightly. Place in dishwater and steam for 8-10 minutes or poach in water under a boil for 8-10 min.
2) After salmon is steaming, heat a skillet with the 1/2 cup olive oil. Add clams, garlic, lemon zest, tomatoes, pepper flakes. Add white wine, lemon juice, cover and steam until clams open.
3) Add Macaroni, basil, butter (optional) and broth or water if needed.
4) Season with salt and pepper and more basil leaves.
To Serve Remove salmon from plastic. Place braided salmon on steamed spinach or green beans. Top each filet with approximately 5 clams, macaroni, and some sauce.
Who is your favorite chef?
What is the best food you’ve ever eaten in the following categories: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner – it can be dessert, appetizer, entree, just pick three
Scrambled eggs with lobster and caviar for breakfast, a bacon burger for lunch and dover sole for dinner