The professional divorce of showman chef David Burke and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia, who had joined forces to create the East Side plutocrat restaurant davidburke & donatella, was announced today. The two sides grew apart as Burke concentrated on his Burke in a Box franchise and out-of-town restaurants and Arpaia built her own mini-empire with Michael Psilakis. “We always knew we were expanding in different ways,” Arpaia tells Grub Street. “I didn’t have time to put my attention there. Michael and I are about to open up Kefi in September and a new restaurant after that. My brand more and more is with Michael.” Burke will gain custody of davidburke & donatella, whose name will change by the end of the year.
David Burke…and Donatella. Photo: Getty Images