arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter tiktok youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Tracy Borkum

Principal, Urban Kitchen Group

Term 7/23 – 6/25

Tracy Borkum hails from London, England, Tracy Borkum is widely known as one of Southern California’s most respected restaurateurs and the founder of the hospitality collective Urban Kitchen Group (UKG). Tracy’s first restaurant venture began in 1995 when she opened the iconic Kensington Grill in San Diego, followed by the debut of her trendy, globally inspired downtown restaurant Chive in 1999. Tracy launched Urban Kitchen Catering in 2004 to bring fresh, locally sourced ingredient-driven dishes to events across the area. In 2005, she seized an opportunity to purchase an esteemed fine dining restaurant, Laurel in Banker’s Hill, to which she quickly elevated within San Diego’s emerging chef-driven culinary landscape to earn a coveted 4 Mobil Star rating. Drawing on her passion for interior design, retail, wine and sustainable cuisine, Tracy boldly pivoted Laurel in the midst of 2008’s economic recession to undergo a four-week renovation to create CUCINA urbana, a California-inspired Italian kitchen and wine shop. The debut marked her flagship concept for UKG, becoming one of the most iconic restaurants in the city for its unique ability to combine dining with a multifaceted retail market where guests could purchase everything around them including designer chairs, tables, lighting fixtures, décor, wine, home goods and more. More than a decade has passed since opening in 2009, and CUCINA urbana is still one of the most coveted reservations in San Diego’s exploding dining landscape with recent honors from Michelin Bib Gourmand, Wine Spectator, Zagat, and more.

Tracy went on to expand the UKG empire throughout SoCal with CUCINA urbana’s sister-brands, CUCINA enoteca, in Irvine in 2011, Del Mar in 2013, and a third location in Newport Beach by 2014. The latest Cucina spin-off, cucina SORELLA, opened in her former Kensington Grill location in 2016 emphasizing handmade pasta, artisan pizza, and shareable plates in a casual, neighborhood-friendly atmosphere. In 2021, coming out of the pandemic Tracy saw an opportunity to grow UKG’s foothold exponentially, and within a twelve-month period, her collective doubled with the launch of Urban Kitchen food pavilion and marketplace at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, ARTIFACT and CRAFT Café inside Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park, and Morena Provisions catering facility and café in San Diego.  

In fall of 2022 Tracy opened doors to one of her greatest passion projects yet, Gold Finch modern delicatessen rooted in Jewish Ashkenazi and Shephardic-style cooking as an ode to her Jewish heritage, and her latest concept includes The Kitchen at The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, which opened in February 2023. Her restaurants have been featured in New York Times, Food Network, Sunset Magazine, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, and Los Angeles Times among others. A passionate philanthropist, Tracy gives back to her community as an advocate for women in life and business, alongside her work with non-profits in the interest of children, food insecurity, and the arts.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Activities

Show Your Badge & Save at The Gondola Company

The Gondola Company
Valid: Jul 17, 2023 - ongoing

The Gondola Company is your Passport to Italy. Indulge in all the magic and tradition of Venice right here in San Diego as you gently cruise in a private gondola through the enchanting canals of the...

Venues

SHOW YOUR BADGE!

Original 40 Brewing
Valid: Jun 26, 2023 - ongoing

Receive a FREE Fish Taco with your same-day San Diego Convention Center Badge! 

Activities

Show Your Badge & Save at Pali Wine Co.

Pali Wine Co
Valid: Jul 28, 2023 - ongoing

Pali Wine Co. is bringing the Central Coast to you! Visit our family-run winery tasting room where we highlight the diversity and nunaced qualities of the California Central Coast wine-growing...

Events to check out

Event

Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2024

The Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed...

Event

Gator By The Bay-Zydeco, Blues & Crawfish Festival

Bon Temps Social Club of San Diego
May 9 - May 12, 2024

The spirit, sounds and flavors of southwest Louisiana come alive at the largest and most-authentic Louisiana-themed music and food festival this side of the bayou. With everything from A to Zydeco,...

Event

Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival

May 10 - May 12, 2024

A highly-anticipated 7+ stage, 80+ bands, 3-day music, culinary and arts festival will descend upon the stunning waterfront of downtown San Diego all along the Embarcadero. The festival offers diverse...

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China
Germany
Great Britain
Japan
Mexico
Korea
Switzerland
Brazil
France
Australia
Canada
USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans
Albanian
Arabic
Belarusian
Bulgarian
Croatian
Danish
Deutsch
Español
Estonian
Filipino
Finnish
Francais
Georgian
Greek
Haitian-Creole
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Indonesian
Irish
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Latvian
Lithuanian
Macedonian
Malay
Maltese
Nederlands
Norwegian
Persian
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Russian
Serbian
Slovak
Slovenian
Swahili
Swedish
Telugu
Thai
Turkish
Ukranian
Vietnamese
Yiddish