One thing people don’t know about me is that I’m an art collector and a glassblower.
It was a great day when I bought the Fromagerie. It was the restaurant where I got my start. I was a potato peeler.
I have had so many memorable meals, but one of my earliest was in 1987 at Troisgros in France.
Without humor, happiness and playfulness, there’d be no reason to live.
If you’re a kid getting into this business, go stage for a well-known chef. Ask a lot of questions, work hard and learn everything you can.
My go-to drink is Sauvignon Blanc.
If I were on death row, my last meal would be warm Kumamoto oysters with foie gras; dayboat sea scallops Benedict with chorizo oil, lobster foam and a sunnyside-up quail egg; angry lobster; dover sole with tomato-mint butter; 60-day aged sirloin with soft egg raviolis and shrimp home fries with sunnysideup quail eggs; banana praline souffle and cheesecake lollipops.
I hate that there are not eight days in the week. I wake up every day and I can’t get enough of this business.
One thing customers don’t get about restaurants is the 7:30 or 8 p.m. reservations. They think the table should always be there waiting for them.
If I had to do it all over again I would have worked in more countries. I regret not having worked in Asia for a couple of years.
David Burke is a leading pioneer of modern American cooking who operates DavidBurke & Donatella and David Burke at Bloomingdale’s (both in New York), David Burke’s Primehouse in Chicago and David Burke Fromagerie in New Jersey.