David Townsend with Staff- 1987- Mark Hopkins- S.F.
David Townsend with Herb Caen- 1986- Café Majestic S.F.
David B Townsend's decades' adventure into the restaurant business didn't come from formal culinary training nor a business degree. His Bachelor of Fine Arts degree saw him in the position of scene and lighting designer, and most fitting as state manager for several shows at the Bonstelle Theater at Wayne State University, Detriot. A creative foundation or framework for later roles as Maître d' Hotel, and general management at several fine-dining establishments on the Monterey Peninsula and later San Francisco. A sense of entertainment and timing supported his creative endeavors for seeking excellence in hospitality.
His passion for food, however, began at a young age when he started cooking as his Mother worked to support three kids. His love of food and skills in cooking improved with his first management position where he and his boss decided he should know the menu, inside out, spending weeks in the kitchen, working each job on the line. European travel, over two summers, also exposed him to foods of various European cultures as well as traditional restaurant styles.
As General Manager of The Old Bath House Restaurant in Pacific Grove, he honed his skills in cooking, management, and marketing under the leadership of Peninsula restaurateur, David Bindel. A time when the traditional French forces on Continental dining were beginning to be influenced by California Cuisine, and its impacts on menus and wine lists were changing, Townsend was on the forefront of developing a wine list of upcoming California Wineries, introduced Salinas Produce, Sonoma Duck and other qualities of an ever-evolving food business in late 70's and '80s. He was instrumental in producing wine dinner pairings and purchasing wines for long term cellaring.
One of his creative outlets during these years was simultaneously being realized by working as a part-time DJ at one of Monterey's radio stations. Leaving the restaurant trade briefly, he began producing a radio program interviewing chefs, wine-makers, and notables of food and wine. Some he knew, (Fred Dame, -the youngest American Sommeliers of his time) others of national acclaim, including Martha Stewart, Paul Bocuusse, Jackie Robert. It was a daily 'feature' long before there were the 'podcasts' of today.
He got back into full-time restaurant work when he moved to San Francisco's participated in opening Café Majestic, as Bar Manager, with Chef/Journalist Stanley Eichelbaum and Tom Marshall. He then was hired as Maître d' of The Nob Hill Restaurant at the Mark Hopkins.
When opportunity knocked, he took on a significant role as one of the Managing Partners at the Half-Shell Restaurant in an emerging South-of-Market District. David also began consulting projects with North Beach restaurateur Jerry Dal Bozzo at Calzones assisting in POS systems and revamping inventory controls, as well as updating menus at other Dal Bozzo's operations.
Upon returning to the Peninsula in the 90's he open and advised in transforming several food operations. He trained staff and helped open Carmel's first Organic, avant-garde Zig-Zag Restaurant with Chef Wendy Little*1. At Piatti, he assisted with the new rooftop expansion offering specialty events menus. When the Coniglio family 's historical Mediterranean Market on Ocean Avenue went through its extensive remodeling in 1995, he was asked to Manage the store and update the Catering Menus and develop an Off-site Catering Program.
Townsend's recent work coordinating Special Events at one of Nevada County's 'premier event-sites' rounds out his logistics and management skills embody the working relationships required with multiple 'players' on projects and time-critical events.
His passion for hospitality combined with a Fine Arts education give him specific talents to advise on the transformation needed to stay competitive in a changing marketplace. He brings insight and passion for any project.
*1- Post Ranch's- Sierra Mar, The Boulders Resort in Carefree, Arizona
As an independent consultant, working primarily in Northern California, I don't have the overhead of a large company. I provide personalized service with reasonable rates. I'm a seasoned professional beginning my consulting work in San Francisco in the late 80's after a decade in F&B management/partnerships. In the past decade, my focus has ranged from the marketing of retail gourmet foods to C-store fast-foods. I'm now doing event management and working in Food & Beverage/Hospitality management. I offer my expert services out of a passion and genuine desire to see others succeed.- d.b.t.