Chef de Cuisine
Born and raised in Georgia, David grew up with grandparents who taught him the value of farming, food and butchery from an early age. From helping in his grandparents’ rural two-acre garden to cleaning and preparing bushels of vegetables that they would sell at the local farmer’s market, David gained an early appreciation for agriculture, animal fabrication and the provenance of food. David’s doting grandmother and mother both shared a warm and abundant amount of hospitality to others. The generous hospitality shown to family and friends is still a core tenant today and continues to inspire him on his own culinary journey.
David began working in local restaurants around age 20, quickly earning positions in some of the most prestigious and acclaimed kitchens in Atlanta. David learned invaluable on-the-job training at Rathbuns, where he honed his skills working every station and where first met Ian Palazzola, with whom he’d work with again in California before both joined Frasca Hospitality Group.
After two years at Rathbuns, David joined the Restaurant Eugene team as Sous Chef and learned the art of chef/owner Linton Hopkins’ more polished approach to cooking and how access to seasonal ingredients from local purveyors helped direct the menu’s narrative. After two and half years, an opportunity to refine the butchery skills learned from his grandfather took David to Empire State South before his desire to live and work in California led him to San Francisco. There, he joined the kitchens of Mourad Lahlou, first at Aziza and then at Mourad, and was first introduced to Asian, Latin and other global flavors and hyper-local Bay Area ingredients. He and Ian once again crossed paths and worked alongside each other at Mourad. After two years there, he joined the team at Cotogna, which cemented his love of Italian cuisine and its time-intensive techniques of building flavors.
In 2018, David was appointed Executive Chef of Zero Zero in San Francisco, and credits his mentor there, Bruce Hill, for teaching him how not only to work with purveyors and contractors, but how to really run a business. That three-year tenure at Zero Zero was among the most influential of his career to-date.
In 2022, David and his new wife moved to Colorado for a change in lifestyle, access to the outdoors and the opportunity to buy a house and settle down; coincidentally, they would also be closer to long-time friends Ian (now the Executive Chef at Frasca Food and Wine) and his wife Clara, the sommelier at Sunday Vinyl. The move proved fortuitous, as Frasca Hospitality Group was looking for a new Chef de Cuisine at Sunday Vinyl, and David earned the job in spring 2023.
This appointment is also a full-circle moment, as David first learned of Frasca during his time at Restaurant Eugene, and had always wanted to work with the group.
At Sunday Vinyl, David’s menu approach echoes his upbringing: source the best possible ingredients, treat them with respect and create craveable dishes that pair well with the restaurant’s award-winning wine program. Signature dishes include Beef Tartare with Green Chermoula, Smoked Oyster Aioli and Trout Roe; Dry-Aged Prime New York Strip with Confit Maitakes and Bordelaise; Duck Liver and Apple Butter Gougeres (a playful riff on cream puffs); and Foie Gras Torchon with Strawberry Jam and Candied Pecans, which is made in the same labor-intensive way he learned years ago at Restaurant Eugene. With “time” as his favorite ingredient, David builds each dish with layers of flavor and patience.