Mild-mannered cooking deity David Kinch is a modest, immodestly gifted chef who has brought fame to the South Bay.
(Published by South Bay Accent magazine in December of 2018.)
In an era when chefs are often tattooed, self-promoting celebrities, with social media trumpeting their latest foul-mouthed exploits, the irrefutable king of the kitchen in the South Bay — and increasingly, beyond — is cerebral, low-key David Kinch, who’d rather be surfing than attending to a throng of groupies. He planted himself in the South Bay in the mid-’90s when, he admits, the region was a culinary backwater compared to the buzzy eating scene to the north. What drew him to this area was that “I found a place that I could afford,” he says, after coming up empty in pricey San Francisco, where he had excelled as the hired executive chef at various prestigious restaurants. Continue reading
Head baker extraordinaire Avery Ruzicka has transformed the Manresa Bread Project into Manresa Bread, occupying a large new production plant in Los Gatos, a retail bakery near Manresa restaurant and more recently, another retail location in Los Altos. This article came out right before the Los Gatos retail shop opened.
The first spinoff of Michelin two-star Manresa restaurant in Los Gatos — Manresa Bread — will open any day now. This ingredient-focused bakery will be offering the scrumptious artisan breads and unique pastries that have, until now, only been available in the restaurant and at a couple of farmers markets. The love child of talented young baker Avery Ruzicka, the operation is much like the restaurant, producing unique, hand-crafted, unusual items not usually found elsewhere. Read all about it on KQED’s Bay Area Bites blog here.
Getting on the list of those French tire guys is a big deal. Here are interviews with three local chefs who made the cut.
(Published by South Bay Accent in August, 2013.)
Your eyes widen, your senses thrum and stray thoughts flit out of your mind as you focus on the moment’s all-engrossing experience. This could define seeing great art on a wall but it equally applies to transcendent food on a plate in the hands of a skillful few. Chefs abound in our region but the ranks of true culinary maestros are small. Three definitive examples are David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos, Bruno Chemel of Palo Alto’s Baumé and Sachin Chopra of All Spice in San Mateo. Continue reading
Surfer, chef extraordinaire, intellectual and now a thriving entrepreneur, David Kinch of Manresa is finally getting the broad recognition that his talents have deserved for years.
(Published by the Bay Area News Group affiliates on June 6, 2013. Link)
Backstabbing and profanity may be the route to becoming a television Top Chef but David Kinch did it the slow, old-fashioned way, honing his craft over a few decades into the culinary equivalent of a 10th degree black belt. Continue reading
David Kinch (left) and Daniel Patterson (right) pictured at an event with Nancy Oakes of Boulevard.
Their thoughts on techniques, trends and what makes food good
Two of the most respected, creative chefs in the region are David Kinch, proprietor of Manresa in Los Gatos, and his pal Daniel Patterson, whose growing restaurant empire is crowned by Coi in San Francisco. Kinch and Patterson have strong views on what makes a good restaurant, how to achieve exciting food and what dining trends are emerging — or should be.
Both of them have been gravitating toward hyper-local, sustainable ingredients turned into exquisite food that communicates a strong sense of place. While some could say that folks like Euell Gibbons pioneered this path, the 21st century intersection between wild food and fine dining was staked by Danish chef Rene Redzepi at Noma, his celebrated restaurant in Copenhagen — twice named the world’s best restaurant. Both Kinch and Patterson know and admire Redzepi and the Dane’s locavore passions are seeping into the always-evolving and always-remarkable cuisine created in their restaurants.
I interviewed them awhile back as background for an article I wrote on molecular gastronomy moving into home kitchens for the San Jose Mercury and its affiliates. (https://peninsulaeatz.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/diy-molecular-gastronomy/#more-497
Here they talk about that no-longer-new trend first pioneered at now-closed El Bulli in Spain, how they define their own cooking styles and what fine food is all about — and what it isn’t — along with popular cooking approaches like sous vide. These lengthy, technique-focused interviews took place last year. Continue reading
(from me) Although I haven’t made this crudo recipe, I intend to.Everything David cooks is wonderful. All the Asian ingredients are available at Nak’s in Menlo Park, an excellent source for sushi fish as well. Cook’s Seafood in Menlo Park also has super-fresh tuna. To get the unique flavor of yuzu, one suggestion is to buy bottled yuzu at Nak’s and mix a little in with the fresh Meyer lemon. Continue reading
(A version of this article was originally published in Metro Silicon Valley in September, 2003.)
Is this a too-harsh opinion? Anyone who thinks that cookbooks are always-reliable blueprints for celestial meals has been lucky — or just buys them to look at the mouth-watering photos so prevalent these days.
I own a zillion cookbooks myself and have been cooking seriously since just after learning my first word (“souffle”). Well, close anyway. And I rarely find a recipe that doesn’t need a LOT of help to nudge it into the “great” category. So armed with a suspicious mind, I talked to a handful of some really good chefs to see if either I have strange taste or cookbooks should be taken with a grain of fleur de sel.
This is an early version of an article published a couple of years ago. The publication made me rework the piece to be “less controversial.” Well, hell. Now that I have my own blog, I’m going to let ‘er rip! The piece is long, but if you’re a foodie, you’ll enjoy hearing what the experts say. And I’ve got a few recipes that these chefs gave me that I’m publishing here. Search “recipes.”
So without further ado…..