David Townsend with Staff- 1987- Mark Hopkins- S.F.
David Townsend with Herb Caen- 1986- Café Majestic S.F.
David B Townsend's decades' endeavor in foodservice didn't come from formal culinary training nor a business degree. His Fine Arts degree reinforced his drive into a heightened awareness of fine dining, excellence in service, and hospitality in general. Majoring in 'scene and lighting design' and most fitting as a stage manager for several shows at the Bonstelle Theater at Wayne State University, Detroit, presented a creative foundation 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.
However, his passion for food began at a young age when he started cooking as his Mother worked to support three kids. His love of food and cooking developed in college during a short few months while living in an upstairs unit with his Grandparent' house after two months in Europe. His Grandmother's sauces and jams, roasts, and home-made condiments were an inspiration. Later, in his first management position, he spent weeks in the kitchen, working each job on the line to learn the menu's intricacies at a fine-dinner house on the Monterey Peninsula.
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 dining were beginning to be influenced by California Cuisine, and its impacts on menus and wine lists were changing, Townsend was at 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 the late '70s 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 invited to Manage the store and update the retail gourmet foods market's merchandising, take-home meals, as well as develop an Off-site Catering Program.
Townsend's recent work as a Special Events Coordinating 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 decades in foodservice, passion for hospitality, combined with a designer's eye give him unequivocal talents to advise on the transformation needed to stay competitive in a changing marketplace. He brings insight and passion for any project.
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.