Meet Chef David HackettTake a look at an interview of David Hackett, a member of the chef staff of the Miami Biltmore Hotel.
Chef David Hackett
Born and raised on the south side of Chicago and a 1988 graduate of Chicago’s Washburne Culinary Institute, one of the best and oldest culinary schools in the country, Chef David Hackett began his culinary journey at the very early age of 12 and has now been in the hospitality industry for over 35 years.
Hackett’s experience as Executive Chef includes many prestigious properties and resorts including the Westin Diplomat Hotel, Westin Charlotte, Mansion at Forsyth Park, Doral Golf Resort & Spa and the JW Marriott Dubai, among others. He has competed in numerous ACF, Societe Culinaire philanthropic, Geneva Association Culinary Art Salons and NICA ice carving competitions throughout his career, both locally and internationally. This includes the 1996 IKA Culinary Olympics and the 1998 Le Salon Culinaire International de Londres.
Chef Hackett is a professional member of the international food and wine society Chaine des Rotisseurs and a Lifetime Ambassador of the WACS Emirates Culinary Guild. Some of his achievements include receipt of the Barry University Distinguished Chef Award in 2009 as well as 1st place prize in the John Offerdahl Gridiron Grill-Off in 2010 and 2011.
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Interview With Chef David Hackett
1. Where were you born?
The South Side of Chicago – Holy Cross Hospital
2. Did you always know you wanted to be a chef?
No, I wanted to be an architect. I got into the business by accident. My older brother Tom had a job interview scheduled at a very popular restaurant on the South Side of Chicago named the House of Hughes. The day of the interview he sprained his ankle in football practice. My mom did not want Tom to lose the job opportunity so I was sent in his place at the age of 12. The owner said I was there grandson. I washed bar glasses and restocked the bar until his ankle got better than I was moved to busing tables, then the dish pit & pots and pans.
3. What was your first kitchen job?
Cold Pantry Station, Preparing Salads, Salad dressings, Assorted Seafood Cocktails and Homemade Pies. I was 15 at the time.
4. Who do you consider to be your most influential culinary mentor/teacher?
There has been a few – The teachers at Washbourne Trade School in Chicago, Reimund Pitz (Past Executive Chef at Disney MGM Studios at the time) and Mark French (Executive Chef at the NY Marriott Marquis in Time Square)
5. What is the oddest ingredient or meal you have ever had?
Lebanese Dish – Little Birds (larks) Deep fried and tossed with garlic butter or pomegranate syrup served with Lebanese flat bread
6. Have you ever cooked for someone famous?
Yes many people – Barak Obama, George Bush Jr, Jeb Bush, Jack Nicklaus, Paul Stanley & Tommy Thayer (From Kiss), Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, Dolphin Legends John Offerdahl and Loius Oliver plus many more, Rudy Giuliani, Paul Tuttle Jr. (American Chopper), Ivanka Trump & Donald Trump Jr. I am sure I missed a few but who’s counting.
7. Do you cook at home? What do you have in your refrigerator?
Yes but not often. Not much: Water, Gatorade, Cheese, Corn Tortillas, Hot Sauce, Salsa, Apples, Oranges and a ton of Condiments (samples).
8. Any memorable kitchen disasters?
None that I can disclose
9. Speaking of disasters…what beverage or cocktail do you like to unwind with?
I don’t drink that often any more, but when I do I enjoy a nice glass of red wine or a Crown and Coke.
10. What is your favorite dessert?
Want to learn to cook like a master chef?
The Biltmore Culinary Academy offers classes for adults and children alike. Improve your cooking skills, or gift a class to a foodie friend. For more information click on the learn more button or call 305-913-3131.