Celebrated Bay Area Chef Narsai David Has Died at the Age of 87

By Kevin Wing

Celebrated Bay Area Chef Narsai David, who was a regular weekly fixture during the early years of KTVU’s “Mornings On 2” throughout the 1990s, has died at the age of 87.

David’s passing was announced on KCBS Radio, where he had been the station’s Food and Wine Editor since the 1980s.

Born to Assyrian parents in South Bend, Indiana, David grew up in Turlock, in the San Joaquin Valley. There, he developed a passion for food from his mother, who taught him how to can peaches. By 1970, he had opened his own restaurant, Narsai’s Restaurant in Kensington, near Berkeley.

Narsai’s Restaurant became a destination for a budding culture of people who now call themselves “foodies” and David became an originator of farm-table cuisine. He fed rock royalty such as the Rolling Stones, and actual royalty from the United Kingdom. That led to a Bay Area TV show, newspaper columns and, eventually, a show on KCBS Radio in San Francisco beginning in the 1980s.

In 1991, David began appearing on the then-new “Mornings On 2” on Oakland’s KTVU, appearing each week in the Jack London Square studios, providing TV viewers with recipes and cooking tips. His segments were immensely popular. David would appear on the morning show throughout the rest of the decade.

During his culinary and media career, David became one of the Bay Area’s most recognizable and well-known chefs.