David Drake - Executive Chef

Written on 11/07/2019
Tommy Rausch

Indisputably seen as one of New Jersey’s premier chefs, The New York Times stated “David Drake is a chef who does not tolerate anything less than perfection.” Grounded in classic French techniques – yet always forward-thinking and adventurous – Drake’s cuisine is defined by his respect to the purity and integrity of the ingredient. Influenced early on by The Escoffier Cookbook, Drake applied extravagances to fresh, local ingredients long before the phrase “farm-to-table” was coined. He honed his signature cuisine at The Frog and The Peach, Stage House, and Restaurant David Drake, all earning exceptional praise. In the kitchen, David’s skill is matched only by his resolve, fact proven when a fireworks explosion robbed him of his left hand at age 14. His rehabilitation included throwing a baseball against a wall, learning to catch using the Jim Abbott technique long before Abbott arrived on the scene. Despite these challenges at such a young age, it was in the restaurant kitchen, tolerant yet competitive, where David thrived most. As a chef, Drake was hailed as “a kitchen superstar” from The New York Times, but another title is his favorite: Dad.