Chris Shea brings nearly a decade of experience working with David Burke to the acclaimed chef’s newest venture, David Burke Kitchen, in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. Working closely with Burke, Shea takes on his whimsical style to uphold the signature playful dishes for which the restaurant is known.
Shea was born and raised in Manhattan and developed an interest in food while making deliveries for the legendary Frank’s Market, in Washington Heights, at age 12. By the time he was 18, Shea found himself butchering meat at the market while staging at nearby Oceana restaurant. Professional training at the Institute of Culinary Education soon followed.
Shea immersed himself in the New York City culinary scene immediately following school, including a stint at the Park Avenue Café where he first met David Burke, the restaurant’s then owner and executive chef.
It wasn’t until 2003 that the two chefs would reunite at davidburke & Donatella, now known as David Burke Townhouse. Shea, eager to work for Burke and still in his dress shirt and slacks, was hired on the spot only one week after the restaurant opened.
Over the next eight years, Shea became an integral part of Burke’s culinary team, graduating from the hot appetizer station at David Burke Townhouse to chef at both David Burke at Bloomingdale’s and David Burke Prime at Foxwoods. He arrived at David Burke Kitchen in 2011.
Now the executive chef, Shea oversees the staff and develops new menu items that showcase Burke’s combination of inventive presentation and rustic flavors, such as Angry Octopus with White Bean and Chorizo, Monkfish Tail with Lobster Sausage, Celery Root, and Green Beans and Vermont Rabbit Steak with Mushroom Pot Pie, Carrot Puree, and Escarole.