According to an article in The New York Post, David Burke has been charged with assault by his former driver, who claims that the chef and restaurateur punched him and slammed his head into the trunk of a car after the driver asked to go home to celebrate his wife’s birthday. The driver filed his complaint on June 19; if convicted, Burke — who has a small flotilla of restaurants bearing his name and is known for such culinary innovations as bubblegum cheesecake lollipops — could face up to six months of jail time. The driver’s lawyer plans to file a $1 million lawsuit against the chef in Manhattan federal court sometime during the next two weeks.
At the opening gala of New Jersey’s Summit Wine & Food Festival last Friday, Burke gave no outward hint of his legal troubles, sharing guffaws and back-slaps with admirers as his cooks served delicate little foie gras pops, nestled on beds of tender greens.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 27, 2009