Chef David Burke Acquires 85-Year-Old Bayshore Bakery

The celebrated chef has acquired one of New Jersey's favorite bakeries.
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One of the country’s favorite chefs has a special new vision planned for the iconic NJ bakery.

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Chef David Burke is known worldwide as one of New Jersey’s finest chefs. Born in Brooklyn, Chef Burke was raised in New Jersey and trained at both the Culinary Institute of America as well as the Ecole Lenotre Pastry School in Plaisir, France. Having trained with some of the greatest chefs of his generation, Chef Burke received three stars from the New York Times at the young age of 26 for his cuisine at The River Café and would go on to represent America at The International Culinary Competition, where he became the only American to win France’s coveted Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Diplome d’Honneur.

In 1992, Chef Burke partnered with Smith & Wollensky’s Alan Stillman to open up the critically acclaimed Park Avenue Café. Going on to become vice president of culinary development for the Smith & Wollensky Development Group, Chef Burke soon began developing concepts of his own. Today, Burke is known across the country for his popular restaurants like Fishtail, David Burke’s Primehouse, 1776, Ventanas, and David Burke’s Fromagerie. Fans may also recognize him from his numerous appearances on television shows like Top Chef. In addition to his critically acclaimed restaurant empire and TV appearances, Chef Burke is also a celebrated cookbook author, and even has his own popular brand of high-end cookware.

Never one to rest on his laurels for too long, Chef Burke is once again planning to debut a brand new concept, this time in Keansburg New Jersey. According Burke, the chef received a phone call from Dixie Lee Bakery owner Mark Onulak, who explained that he was a big fan of Burke’s restaurants and was hoping to get ready to retire soon at the age of 67. The two continued to talk and quickly hit it off, and Burke agreed to buy the iconic bakery and add it to his already impressive restaurant portfolio. While he wasn’t looking for a new space, the new opportunity was too good to pass up, and soon the bakery will be known by the name David Burke’s Dixie Lee Bakery.

If the name wasn’t a hint, Burke has always been a fan of Dixie Lee Bakery, and remembers that his parents and grandparents used to visit all the time. He grew up in the area, and has “always wanted a pastry shop.” Burke will be preserving the current staff at the bakery, and will be keeping Onulak and his partner Allison Loori on board as managing partners.

According to Burke, the bakery’s production area is large enough to allow him to produce his signature clothesline bacon, and he is even considering using the space to sell the bacon nationally and ship to other restaurants. He also intends to make traditional bagels from scratch the old-fashioned way, boiling them before baking. While chef Burke and his team have a lot of work ahead of them to prepare the space for its next phase of life, you can find updates on all of Burke’s new projects by following the chef on Instagram.

Jake Rogers

Jake Rogers is an author and playwright based out of Brooklyn, New York. A lively performer who is deeply passionate about history and literature, outside of his reporting he also produces short films and plays with his theatre troupe, the LSTC. He is currently producing a web series about a butterfly and moth who are roommates that will be released later in the year.
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