It’s a surprising thing about Rhode Island, a state long lauded for its culinary prowess: we’ve never had a world-renowned celebrity chef open a restaurant here – until now. Chef David Burke, an award-winning and widely influential chef, brings his culinary expertise to The Preserve Sporting Club and Residences in Richmond (just off I-95, near the Washington County Fairgrounds). The 350-seat Double Barrel Steak by David Burke features steaks, chops, game, seafood, and a wine list that’s second to none.
Though Burke has made many appearances on shows such as Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, he’s more comfortable behind a line than behind a camera, and owns over a dozen restaurants on the East Coast and in Saudi Arabia. Now he brings his unique form and flair to South County’s 3,500-acre luxury resort for outdoor sporting enthusiasts, thanks to the Preserve’s chairman Paul Milhailides. “I got a call from Paul, who I’ve known casually for a long time,” Burke says. “He was looking for someone to make the culinary operations world class, so I went up to take a look and was blown away.
Burke is no stranger to Rhode Island – his youngest son is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, from which Burke himself will soon earn an honorary doctorate. “Rhode Island has a rich agricultural heritage that we’ll be tapping into,” he explains. “We have a whole section of the menu devoted to ‘ocean steaks’ from local waters and, once game season comes around, we’ll serve our own pheasant from the property.”
Longtime fans of Burke will be happy to know that many signature menu items that earned him the moniker “culinary prankster” – most notably, “clothesline bacon” – make appearances on the menu as well. Burke notes that while the beef at Double Barrel Steak is not local, he did earn a U.S. patent for his dry-aging process, which involves the signature shimmery pink Himalayan salt bricks built into the decor of the restaurant. “It makes our beef stand out from any other offered in the state,” he explains. And with a nod to the restaurant’s off-the-beaten-path location adds, “That’s worth the drive alone!”
Burke came of age in the 1980s in New York, most notably at The River Café, the iconic American restaurant located under the Brooklyn Bridge in New York known for turning out American chefs who led the charge in the farm-to-table movement, such as Burke, Charlie Palmer, and Rick Moonen. “Burke is one one of the smartest, hardest working, well-respected talents in the business,” says Milhailides. “The Preserve has been called the top sporting club in America, so of course we should have the best chef in America.”
87 Kingstown Road, Richmond
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