Chef David Burke reveals the answers to all of our top foodie questions


Did you always know you wanted to be a chef?

I was with some friends from high school, and they were like, “You wanted to be a chef when you were in second year in high school. How did you know that?” I’m like, “I didn’t know where this would take me.” I just knew there was something about it that made me happy to produce and cook and create and be part of a team, and being able to see a finished product on a daily basis. You don’t have to wait a year for the project to come to fruition, you are doing something and you are part of a team. I think that was part of it. I also think there is a gene for hospitality in some people. You understand that you are doing something right.

Did your family support you?

When I entered the restaurant business, it was a bad career choice. Everyone told me. It was in the late ’70s and you didn’t get in because it was respected, you didn’t get in for the money, you didn’t get in for fame. Being a chef was nothing back then. My dad said to me, “David, what’s this talk about you wanting to be a chef or a cook or whatever?”

I said, “Yeah, daddy.” I’m a smart kid, I’m a good athlete, I’m a pretty good boy at school, a bit naughty, a bit of a joker.

My dad said, “David, I know you smoke weed. I just hadn’t realized how much. Why the hell would you want to be a chef? Are you high?

It was like saying to your father, “I want to be a maid. I want to be a janitor. Being a cook was not considered a profession. It was something you did without education. First of all, you didn’t need a license for this, you still don’t have one, which confuses me. Here is a profession, you could poison someone, and you don’t need a license. But to fix their toilets, you do.

I understand that you are also a puppeteer?

Amateur puppeteer, yes. I’m proud of it.

Can you talk about your assistant puppeteer, Lefto?

Hosting people with Lefto was fun actually.

Any plans for Lefto in the future?

Yeah, Lefto, he’s been dating a bit lately, so I gave him a break. He’s got a girlfriend – a puppet, her name is Nutmeg – she’s a mixologist, so she’s going to teach drinks, and I’m going to teach, through Lefto, how to cook for a woman you meet on a dating site, like how to cook your first date meal.

Seriously? I will look at.

It’s educational, it’s humorous, and it gives you tips on dating, cooking and drinking.

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