David Gingrass (pronounced “Gin Grass”) is a Professional Chef with a career spanning more than four decades. His fascination with and love for all things natural, hand-crafted, and special allows him to view his work as both a vocation and an avocation.
Gingrass graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York then cooked in the Bay Area for three years before landing a job at Wolfgang Puck’s original Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood. There he learned to make the signature breads and sausages that he became known for at Postrio and Hawthorne Lane. He was soon promoted to kitchen manager and managed the operational and expense control aspects of Puck’s iconic kitchen for the next four years.
Gingrass returned to San Francisco in 1989 when Puck tapped him and his then-wife, Anne, to open Postrio, Puck’s third restaurant and his first outside of Los Angeles. Postrio opened to rave reviews and soon became the #1 popular Bay Area restaurant in the prestigious Zagat survey.
Five and a half years later, the opportunity to open a restaurant of his own presented itself. Hawthorne Lane opened in 1995 and was a San Francisco dining institution for over twelve years, catering to the likes of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Mayor Willie Brown, James Carville, President Clinton and First Lady Hilary Clinton. He closed Hawthorne Lane at the end of its fifteen-year lease in 2009.
Building and woodworking have been hobbies for most of Gingrass’ life starting with a tree house at age 9. Following in his mother’s footsteps, he learned to love cooking and entertaining. Today, family, cooking, entertaining, and building are at the center of his Napa Valley lifestyle.