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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Mar 11, 2020

18th Annual Garden State Film Festival Honors Chef David Burke

David Burke

Chef David Burke will receive the “Home Grown Hero Award” at the 18th Garden State Film Festival’s (GSFF) Black-Tie Awards Banquet on Sunday, March 29 at Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel. The Awards Banquet is the culmination of the popular five-day event film festival held in and around Asbury Park. Burke will be recognized for his lifetime of loyalty and exemplary work in raising the creative profile of the Garden State.

More than 240 films on all subjects, in a variety of lengths, will be showing in numerous locations all around Asbury Park, from Wednesday, March 25 through Sunday, March 29, plus not-to-be-missed parties, celebrities, seminars, networking, free shuttle rides, and lots more. For more information including schedule, tickets and travel, visit

Burke, an internationally recognized, celebrity chef and Hazlet native, now has several highly awarded restaurants in the Garden State, all located at iconic New Jersey sites: oceanfront DRIFTHOUSE by David Burke and Nauti Bar, Sea Bright at Driftwood Cabana Club owned by the Stavola family since 1957; in the century-old clubhouse at the second oldest tennis club in the United States David Burke Orange Lawn, Orange Lawn Tennis Club, South Orange; and nestled between two 46-story high residential skyscrapers and one of the World’s tallest twin tower projects, Ventanas at The Modern, Fort Lee.

Widely known as a top contender on Bravo’s Top Chef that achievement simply scratches the surface of 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. 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.

A graduate of the CIA and student of the Ecole Lenotre Pastry School in France, 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 – Burke is the only American to ever win this – thus cementing his reputation as a leading international chef. He won the Robert Mondavi Award of Excellence and two nominations for James Beard Best Chef New York City. He was also inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America.

During his speech at a recent preliminary GSFF event “Best of the Fest” at Brookdale Community College, Burke said, “I am very honored this year to have been named the recipient of the Garden State Film Festival’s ‘Home Grown Hero Award,’ which recognizes the creative profile of New Jersey. There is no doubt that this state is, was and always will be, an original. From music, to the kitchens of so many great restaurants and innovative chefs, to writers, scientists, innovators, professors, and in the world of fashion, sports, comedy, and of course film and television, New Jersey’s voice can be heard across the nation. We, as a creative community, make a loud and clear statement that you are going to know what’s on our minds.

“There are lots of festivals, but this one has devoted itself to being a platform to helping talent showcase their work, make important connections and most importantly have their voices heard, Jersey style. They have stayed true to their principles of honoring the independent filmmaker spirit and they’ve done it while maintaining high standards of integrity. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.”