Interview with Gwyneth Borden of The Golden Gate Restaurant Association

My Interview with Gwyneth Borden Executive Director of The Golden Gate Restaurant Association & Eat Drink Hosts
Eat Drink SF 2015

For those of you who don’t know Gwyneth Borden I suggest you get to know her! She’s the Executive Director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association also a JetSetting Fashionista Board Member and over all a cool, talented, fun, wise woman I’m lucky to call my friend. Learn more about Gwyneth in my interview with her below where she shares the history and details of the upcoming Eat Drink SF put on by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association. Get your tickets to Eat Drink SF here.

Gwyneth Borden

Can you tell us a bit about the Golden Gate Restaurant Association and your role as Executive Director? The Golden Gate Restaurant Association is an 80 year old organization that celebrates and empowers the San Francisco Bay Area restaurant community through advocacy, education, marketing, events and training.   We focus on advocacy with city government and to a lesser extent the state capital; and we provide opportunities for our members to meet their elected leaders with our City Hall Lobby Day and our Better Know a District Supervisor series.  Our member education focus is on regulatory guidance and compliance, since there’s such a complex regulatory framework.

Through our marketing and events like San Francisco Restaurant Week and Eat Drink SF, we showcase our restaurants, and promote San Francisco as a world class culinary destination.  While our efforts around training ranges from providing the required food safety certification to our skills training chefs’ professional development series.  We also work with a variety of nonprofit and public partners to train the next generation of culinary talent, some of which we support through our scholarship foundation.   As I see it, my chief role as the executive director is to provide a voice for the industry on the issues of importance, so that restaurants can focus on hospitality.

How has Eat Drink SF evolved over the past seven years? Eat Drink SF has evolved immensely since its early days of 2009, when the festival was called SF Chefs and took place on Union Square.  Not only have we grown in size and scale, but we’ve evolved the festival into a year round brand that spotlights San Francisco’s culinary scene and provides insights into how restaurants work through our panel discussion series.

What are you looking forward to at this year’s festival? Every year I look forward to being in one space all weekend with our incredible restaurant talent.  I’m always excited to sample the bites and taste the inventive cocktails.  This year we’ll have a little bit of a focus on our legacy bars and restaurants – those which have been a defining part of San Francisco’s heritage.  We’re thrilled to celebrate these restaurants and bars that have laid the groundwork for the dining scene we have today.

What is your favorite after work drink? If I’m having a cocktail, it’s all about bourbon:  boulevardiers and old fashions.  If I’m in the mood for wine, it’s likely a rose.

What is your favorite local spot? I have too many favorite local spots – it all depends upon what I’m in the mood for and where I am.  As of late my downtown favorite is Leo’s Oyster Bar, but where I live in Bernal, I most often frequent Ichi Sushi and Old Bus Tavern.  If I have a hankering for roast chicken, I’m all about Zuni; fried chicken, Little Skillet.  If I want carnitas tacos, then hands down it’s La Taqueria, but if I want some tuna tostadas it’s all about Tacolicious; a quesadilla, Los Coyotes.  My go to pizzas are Delfina’s margarita and the bartender’s special at Beretta (spicy marinara with burrata and fennel sausage). Henry Hunan’s is my go-to order in Chinese, while I dim sum at Yank Sing.  My all-time Thai favorite is Yukol Place, although I don’t make it over to the Marina much.

Given my job and our broad base of restaurant members, I really try to eat in as many different restaurants as possible.  There’s so much good food to be eaten!

Tell us something that would surprise people about you? (I.e. you’re allergic to fish…..)  I just don’t love deviled eggs.  I’ll eat them, but I never order them.

Jonathan Adler

A huge thanks to my friend and fellow foodie Gwyneth Borden for your time and your incredible passion for the upcoming Eat Drink SF Event. Looking forward to seeing you there!!! Stay tuned JSF readers I’ll be attending and covering the entire weekend of delicious eats and fun. I hope to see you there!!

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