Chef David Burke Hosts “Operation Santa Claus” with Marine Toys For Tots 

On Monday, December 17, renowned chef, David Burke hosted a holiday party at his restaurant, David Burke Tavern at 135 East 62nd Street in Manhattan. This is the second year that the event has occurred at the restaurant. By partnering with Toys for Tots, Chef Burke distributed toys to over 30 underprivileged children from two Brooklyn schools, St. Athanasius Catholic Academy and St. Bernard Catholic Academy.

Chef Burke also served a delicious and nutritious kid-friendly lunch. The children  enjoyed sliders, mini pigs in a blanket, mini grilled cheeses, and a few sweet items like crème brulee oatmeal, waffles and holiday inspired hot chocolate. 

Joe Cinque, the CEO of The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences, has been partnering with the Marine organized charity, Toys for Tots, for more than 35 years. After hosting similar events for kids around the New York area, Cinque and Chef David Burke decided to bring the event to Chef Burke’s Upper East Side Manhattan restaurant last year.

Woman Around Town had the opportunity to ask Chef Burke (above) a few questions about the holiday party. We wanted to know about the team he worked with.  “It’s great to work with people that take the time, during the busiest season of the year, to give back and support the great organization that is Toys for Tots, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to be a part of it. I also would to thank the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences and the United States Marine Corp for their efforts.” 

Burke also told us about the rewards of extending his talents to the community. “We often don’t see children in the restaurant, so it’s great to have kids in the restaurant to see a little of what we do and to put big smiles on their faces through both delicious food and holiday gifts.” 

We also learned that David Burke Tavern has a Toys for Tots donation box available for people to stop by and drop off toys until the end of the year.  Marine Toys for Tots has been in existence since 1947 and 548 million toys have been distributed since its inception and the organization has supported over 251 million children to date.  The core mission of the program is to collect new unwrapped toys and distribute them to underserved children at Christmas.  They also accept monetary donations. The campaign is available to people throughout the United States.

Photos Credit: Molly Tavoletti

About Marina P. Kennedy (16 Articles)
Marina Kennedy currently writes for, and the Hemlock News in Pennsylvania. She likes to do articles and blog about the culinary scene, theatre, and travel. Marina and her husband Chuck enjoy the rich cultural experiences of the metropolitan area. She is absolutely delighted to contribute to Woman About Town.