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Past Signature Event
Cooking with Chef David Burke

Cook Along with Chef David Burke

Kick off the Charter Day festivities with Chef David Burke, one of the best known and most respected chefs in modern American cuisine. Acknowledged as a leading pioneer in American cooking, Burke, a New Jersey native, is also recognized internationally for his revolutionary techniques, exceptional skills, successful restaurant empire and his many TV appearances. In the parlance of today’s celebrity driven culture, he is a rock star of the culinary world.

Chef Burke will prepare his delicious take on a crab cake and a crab-garnished gazpacho. And, because it wouldn’t be Charter Day without a signature cocktail, Rachel Robbins, the “Chickologist,” has created the Devilish Knight, a refreshing libation that will pair wonderfully with Chef Burke’s creations. Recipes for food and drink follow:

Two dishes of food viewed from overhead

Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cake

Yields 8

  • 1 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 3/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 lb. lump crabmeat, picked clean of all shell and cartilage
  • 3 tbsp. minced fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 box Pretz pretzel sticks (preferred brand, can be purchased in Japanese gourmet stores)
  • 1 cup clarified butter


  1. Heat oil in a small saute pan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and celery and saute vegetables for about four minutes, or until they are soft and translucent.
  3. Remove onion and celery and drain off and discard excess oil. Set aside.
  4. Combine butter (important: use very soft butter) and mayonnaise in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Using a handheld electric mixer or a wooden spoon, beat until mixture is well blended and very smooth.
  6. Fold in crab meat, chives, lemon zest, Old Bay, and cayenne along with reserved onions and celery.
  7. Cover and refrigerate crab cake mixture for 2 hours to chill. Pretzel-Crusted Crab Cake, cont’d.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  9. Remove crab cake mixture from the refrigerator.
  10. Line a row of pretzels (about 8) closely together and top with about 1/4 cup of crab mixture.
  11. Line top with the same amount of pretzels (creating a "raft" appearance).
  12. Place pretzel-coated cakes on a prepared baking sheet.
  13. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until cakes are firm.
  14. Heat clarified butter in a large saute pan over medium heat until it begins to smoke. In batches, using additional butter as needed, fry crab cakes for about 3 minutes per side, or until they are golden brown.
  15. Place them on paper towels to drain.
  16. Place crab cakes on a serving platter.
A prepared dish of food

Summer Gazpacho

Serves 4-6 people

Ingredients for Gazpacho:

  • 4 large heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper
  • 3 cups watermelon
  • 5 sprigs cilantro
  • 15 leaves of fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 2 cucumbers (peeled)
  • 3 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 1/2 jalapeno 3 oz. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1oz. sherry vinegar or good red wine vinegar

For Garnish:

  • 1 avocado (diced)
  • 2 cups sourdough bread croutons
  • 1 cup crab meat, cleaned


  1. Roughly chop all Gazpacho ingredients and place in a bowl to marinate with olive oil and vinegar for about 2 hours or, if time allows, overnight.
  2. Place the marinated ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Season lightly with salt and pepper and pour into a pitcher to keep cold until ready to serve.
  3. Pour gazpacho into a bowl and garnish with avocado, croutons and crab meat.
A martini glass shrouded in mist

The Devilish Knight

Makes one drink

  • 2.5 oz. Hendricks gin
  • 1 oz. italicus bergamot liqueur
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • Fresh basil, cilantro, mint
  • Grapefruit essence flavor bubble