Remembering and Honoring Narsai David

Posted June 28, 2024

Everyone at the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association – Board members, staff, farmers, and vendors – are honoring the contributions and lasting impact of Narsai David – famed Bay-Area chef, restauranteur, winemaker, radio personality, and founding Chair of PCFMA’s Board of Directors – at his passing. PCFMA sends its condolences to his wife Venus and son Daniel. 

Narsai was born in South Bend, Indiana but grew up in Turlock, California where his family moved when he was 11 years old. Growing up in this agricultural community taught Narsai the importance of fresh and local ingredients, a hallmark of his approach to cooking at his Kensington restaurant and market, and at his famous dinner parties at his home in Berkeley. His passion for fresh food and the farmers who grow it led Narsai to join local farmers to find PCFMA in 1988. He served as the Chair of the organization's Board of Directors for over ten years and was declared “Chair Emeritus” upon his retirement. After stepping down from the Board, Narsai maintained his interest in California farmers’ markets and always made time out of his busy schedule for PCFMA. 

Allen Moy, PCFMA’s Executive Director, said of Narsai “While Narsai left the Board of PCFMA before I joined the organization, his legacy is still very much alive. PCFMA’s commitment to small-scale and family farmers and to great artisan foods that reflect the incredible diversity of the Bay Area was inspired by Narsai’s early leadership of the organization.” 

Allen also shared that after he was promoted to the Executive Director role, he was invited out to lunch by Narsai. “It was almost a second job interview, conducted over good food, and it showed how much he continued to care about PCFMA, long after his formal separation from the organization.” 

Narsai was also a well-known patron of the arts, serving as a founding Board member of the Berkeley Repertory Theater. 

Allen said “Narsai clearly lived a life that fed and was fueled by his passions and that brought great joy to others. That is a life well-lived. He will be missed.” 

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