There is no denying that one of the Bay Area’s main attractions is food. From sourdough to sushi, the variety and abundance available in this area ensures there’s something for everyone, dietary restrictions be damned.
What the Bay has lacked is a network of restaurants and culinary experts sharing ideas and techniques. Until now. On July 26 and 27, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA) is holding its first annual Industry conference, where leaders in the restaurant and hospitality business from across the country will gather and share their knowledge of the industry. Member and non-member restaurants will benefit from keynote speeches, workshops, classes, demonstrations and business panels that cover everything from funding a restaurant to hospitality improvement.
Chef Kyle Connaughton will be one of the many presenters at this event. He and his wife Katina are opening a combination restaurant, inn, and farm in Healdsburg this fall. Aptly named Single Thread Restaurant & Inn, this establishment will offer the ultimate farm-to-table experience, as everything served on a plate will have come from the Connaughtons’ sustainable farm.
Connaughton is especially excited to share his business philosophy at the GGRA conference. He notes that Single Thread emphasizes the importance of combining both agriculture and hospitality, creating a truly integrated and holistic experience for guests.
Because of his background and involvement with the Culinary Institute of America, Connaughton understands the importance of education and guidance for young people interested in the culinary arts and hospitality. The GGRA shares his passion, as the profits from this conference will help fund the GGRA Scholarship Foundation, helping high school and graduated students find higher education and career opportunities in the food industry.
“As industry leaders, we have the responsibility to utilize any time we can to inspire young people or give them opportunities or education,” says Connaughton. By attending this conference, restaurants will not only further their own success, but also that of the newest generation of chefs and managers. With any luck, this new opportunity for cooperation and conversation among culinary experts will quickly become steeped in Bay Area tradition.
Registration for the conference is now open, and space is running out. The cost is $100 for GGRA restaurant members, $125 for non-members, $250 for GGRA member vendors and $500 for non-member vendors. Go to ggra.org/industry-conference to learn more.