Since 1968, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association Scholarship Foundation has awarded annual tuition assistance to students seeking higher education in the culinary and hospitality field. The Scholarship Foundation is supported by a portion of member dues, generous donations and GGRA events throughout the year.  The recipients of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association Scholarship Foundation awards are local Bay Area residents in need of additional financial assistance in order to pursue their education. In addition to tuition scholarships, the GGRA Scholarship Foundation also contributes funds every year to the San Francisco Unified School District’s Career Technical Education Department. These funds go directly to pay high school juniors and seniors for summer internships in the industry.


Mariann Costello, Martino DiGrande, Elliot Katz, Jeff Jones, Jennifer Rudd, Michael Rubenstein, Kenneth Zankel and Gwyneth Borden.


GGRA Scholarship Foundation has several awards in honor of individuals who were and are an integral part of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association.

Rubenstein Scholarship

Mr. Rubenstein served as General Counsel for the Association from the date of its inception in 1936 until his death in 1968. The GGRA Scholarship Foundation was established in 1968 by members and friends of the GGRA as a living memorial to David Rubenstein. His son, Michael Rubenstein, is Chair of the Board of Trustees for the foundation.

Grison Scholarship

The Grison Scholarship was established in 1985 in honor of restaurateur Robert Grison, who served as first President of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA) from 1938 to 1946, and first Chairman of the GGRA Scholarship Foundation. He was owner of Grison’s Steak & Chop House (1936 to 1984) and Grison’s Chicken House (1939 to 1970) in San Francisco both located at Van Ness and Pacific.

Kenneth and Anna Zankel Scholarship

The Kenneth and Anna Zankel Honorary Scholarship was established several years ago by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association Scholarship Foundation Trustees to recognize the generous contributions made to the foundation by Kenneth and Anna. Kenneth Zankel is a current member of the GGRA Board of Directors, past President, and a member of the GGRASF Board of Trustees. His contribution to the foundation is proof of his dedication and commitment to education and the success and growth of the scholarship foundation.

Kimpton Group Scholarship

We are excited to announce a new scholarship offered this year in partnership with the Kimpton Group. This scholarship is awarded to a student whose focus is specifically in wine and beverage education.

For more information about the GGRA Scholarship & Educational Foundation, please contact Chhavi Sahni at



Bobby Nelson, a 2015 Scholarship recipient, is hard at work at Laney College this year. The following dishes are his own, completely vegan recipes (gumbo with jasmine rice & tomato sliders). Keep up the great work, Bobby!

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Another one of this year’s GGRA Scholarship Foundation award winners, Thalia Bueno, is also a student at Laney College, in the Pastry and Baking program. This cake was her final project for the semester, and it tasted as good as it looks!


Recipients of the GGRA Scholarship Foundation tend to stay in the industry and here are just a few of our graduates and what they’re doing today:

  • Sara Jacoby (2011 – 2014 three time award winner) – Delfina Restaurant & Per Diem
  • Jennifer Rudd (2007-2008) – Chef Instructor, City College of San Francisco
  • Georgeanna Connors – Manager at Nopalito
  • Adam Soto (2007 – 2011 three time award winner) – Flight Attendant for Virgin America and Caterer
  • Sur Lucero (2003-2005 two time award winner) – National Director Wine Education Jackson Family Wines
  • Nick diArenzo (2002-2003) – Co-Owner, Market Tavern, Stockton, CA
  • Martin DiGrande (2006-2007) – Owner, Palio d’Asti Restaurant, San Francisco, CA
  • Jeffrey Weiss (2009 – 2010) – Chef, Jeninni Kitchen & Wine Bar, Pacific Grove, CA


For more information about the Scholarship Foundation, contact please email

Click here to donate to the Golden Gate Restaurant Scholarship Foundation. Thank you for supporting the next generation of industry professionals! Donations to the foundation are tax-deductible – tax ID 23-7012819.