Chef David Burke Launches #FeedtheHeroes
Chef David Burke, well known for his scrappy New Jersey, never-quit attitude, has launched #FeedtheHeroes, an operation to provide meals to first responders and medical personnel on the frontlines of the pandemic battle in the New Jersey and New York City area.
"Chefs, and the restaurant industry as a whole, are like the piano players on the Titanic," said Burke. "We want to cook! We want to serve. That's the restaurant mentality."
The effort arose from the ashes of Burke's rising empire of a dozen world-class restaurants, but like so many other restaurants within a day the Covid-19 virus took it all away. Restaurants here, there and everywhere across our nation are closed and 16 million restaurant employees laid off due to the pandemic. It has rocked our country's foundation and disrupted a thriving economy of nearly $9 billion in gross sales.
Still, the Coronavirus marches on taking thousands of American lives with it and that figure is predicted to rise exponentially in the next few weeks straining New Jersey and New York City's hospitals attending to very sick patients, our emergency services and our police forces.
"Restaurant people don't like to be defeated," said Burke. "We have the skill, the determination, and time, all we need now is the money. While the front lines of our brave first responders, healthcare professionals fight the fight - risking their own health and the health of their loved ones - we need to keep our heroes fed. That's what we do, we feed people."
To help support Burke's #FeedtheHeroes operation, go to PayPal.Me/FeedtheHeroes.
In "normal" times Burke's catering division was set up to feed hundreds, sometimes, thousands, of guests clad in black-tie and gowns. Now Burke is gearing up to use the same know-how, staff, and vendor relationships to feed the frontline healthcare professionals who are battling the Coronavirus and the first responders who are still on duty keeping the peace and attending to emergencies in our stressed communities.
Burke said the first week after the state mandated shutdown of restaurants he focused on shuttering his businesses and going through the painful process of laying off hard-working employees. The second week was filled with the tedious process of filing insurance claims and applying for loans created by the stimulus package. Now, he and his executive team have turned their focus to how they can be of service to the men and women on the frontline fighting Coronavirus and keeping our communities safe.
"In times of crisis we must be resourceful. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And this is what happens when the entrepreneurial and hospitality minds come together. This is exactly what we need to stay positive to beat this virus; we have to work together to come up with solutions," said Burke. "Please join us in the fight to keep the frontlines of this epidemic fed, while also helping put some of our employees back to work. Now is the time for us to wear our workload like a badge of honor."
About David Burke Hospitality Management
David Burke Hospitality Management is a full-service hospitality management team with the ability to oversee and execute all aspects of a food service facility. David Burke Hospitality Management creates original food service concepts, menu design, provides accounting, food procurement and front of the house staffing
Individuals are trained to provide an outstanding dining experience every time a meal is served. From expertly trained cooks to the front of the house management service team, every David Burke Hospitality Management associate has a deeply passionate approach to the food service profession.
About Chef David Burke
Widely known as a top contender on Bravo's Top Chef that achievement simply scratches the surface of Chef David Burke's many achievements. Dig a little deeper and you will see his rock star fame rests solidly on his mastery of the French technique, New World innovation, imagination and his, scrappy, never-quit attitude. And there is a tsunami of awards and credits to prove his culinary chops. Chef Burke, considered a leading pioneer in American cooking, was named Executive Chef of the legendary River Café at 26, an amazing feat in and of itself. Still, the accolades kept coming. A graduate of the CIA and student of the Ecole Lenotre Pastry School in France, Chef Burke earned a coveted three-star New York Times review while at the River Café. Then, Japan's Nippon Award for Excellence, next the prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Diplome d'Honneur - Chef Burke is the only American to ever win this - thus cementing his reputation as a leading international chef. There's more, lots more, like the Robert Mondavi Award of Excellence and two nominations for James Beard Best Chef New York City and he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America.
Burke's restaurants include: David Burke Tavern, Mister French, Woodpecker by David Burke, Red Salt Room, King Bar, The Blue Hen, Salt & Char, New York; David Burke Orange Lawn, Drifthouse by David Burke, Nauti Bar by David Burke, Vantanas and BLT Prime by David Burke, Washington D.C.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chef David Burke