Gridiron Grill-Off 2018 Chef Spotlight: Chef David Hackett

Who’s ready for some football & grilling!? We are revving up for our 3rd year attending the Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Music Festival on November 10, 2018 at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater – the ultimate celebrity culinary competition for charity. We would like to introduce one of the incredible chef’s dedicating his time and talent to support charity through the Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Music Festival, Chef David Hackett, the Director of Culinary & Executive Chef for the Biltmore Hotel.

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, located in the City of Colleges of Chicago Kennedy – King Campus. Chef Dave began his culinary journey at the very early age of 12, he has now been in the Hospitality Industry for over 40 years.

Chef Dave has been the Executive Chef of many prestigious properties and resorts such as the Westin Diplomat Hotel, Westin Charlotte, Mansion at Forsyth Park, Doral Golf Resort & Spa and the JW Marriott Dubai to name a few. Chef Hackett has competed and medaled in numerous ACF, Societe Culinaire Philanthropic, Geneva Association Culinary Art salons and NICA Ice carving competitions throughout his career both local and international; including the 1996 IKA Culinary Olympics and the 1998 Le Salon Culinaire International de Londres.
Chef Hackett is a professional member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs as Conseiller Culinaire Provincial for the Southeast Region, American Culinary Federation Active Member and a Lifetime Ambassador of the WACS Emirates Culinary Guild.
He continues to give back to the community and chairs “Chefs Up Front – Flipany” and “Chefs out of the Kitchen” charitable events throughout the year.

Learn more about Chef Hackett!

1. Who inspired you to become a Chef?

I did not want to be a chef at the beginning, I wanted to be architect. But once I started working in a popular steakhouse / rib joint on the south side of Chicago and I got to see how creative a chef could be and how many different mediums of food products to work with I was hooked. Chef Paul Young and the owner of the restaurant Karoly told my father I was a natural in the kitchen and I should pursue a career in the industry.

2. What nationalities or trends inspire your cuisine? (ie Thai, French, casual American, tex-mex)

Having worked and traveled throughout my career I have adopted a few to create my style of cooking (French is what your taught in school, Italian and Mexican is what I grew on and far east for its bold unique flavors and ingredients) Creating new foods is what I love most!

3. What is one of your favorite ingredients and why?

Sea salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper – simple and clean to bring out the best in food.

4. Why did you decide to participate in the Gridiron Grill-Off on November 10?

It is very hard to say no to John Offerdahl! He is a fantastic individual! Anything I can do to help support him and his foundation I am in.
5. What are you looking forward to the most at this year’s Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine and Music Festival?

Supporting John by making money for the foundation, having fun, networking and WINNING IT FOR THE 5th time with my longtime partner #25 Louis Oliver!! (2010 champ, 2011 champ, 2012 people’s choice champ and 2017 champ)

6. Any recommendations for those planning to attend the Gridiron Grill-Off for the first time?

Come hungry, pace yourself, have fun and enjoy a great time and vote for Chef Dave – The Biltmore Hotel!!

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Find Chef Hackett at the Gridiron Grill-Off!

Connect with the Gridiron Grill-Off!

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