Chef Burke

Alone Together: Dispatches from the Jersey Restaurant World

As residents continue to shelter in place, restaurants miss us even more than we miss them.

Excerpt from article on

Early in the crisis, chef David Burke had a laugh at his own expense. His three New Jersey properties (Ventanas in Fort Lee, David Burke at Orange Lawn in South Orange and Drifthouse in Sea Bright) were open, offering takeout and delivery, but he was troubled by the number of layoffs he had had to make. “I couldn’t call my friends and ask them to hire my employees,” he says, “because they’re all closed themselves.” 

He went to his new condo in Fort Lee and decided to get acquainted with its kitchen, which he had never used before.

“I was searing off a steak,” he says. “Next thing I know, the smoke alarm goes off and the fire department is there. You’d think I would know how to cook, but I couldn’t figure out where the switch for the exhaust fan was. I got to meet the police and the fire department. It was pretty funny.”  

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