Noodles and rice bowls were never like this!
(Published by South Bay Accent magazine in December 2016)
There’s an unfortunate bifurcation when it comes to eating out in the South Bay. Given all the fine cuisine and storied chefs in the region, diners expect a restaurant meal involving superb food will come with a hefty bill and be a pricey form of entertainment. Meanwhile, grabbing a quick mouthful for a small price is largely the territory of forgettable spots whose goal is simple fuel with low culinary expectations. With Americans now spending more on away-from-home meals than grocery buying, it’s not surprising that less-costly eateries get more of our food dollars than higher-end restaurants, which many people can’t afford. Continue reading
Head baker extraordinaire Avery Ruzicka has transformed the Manresa Bread Project into ManresaBread, 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 — ManresaBread — 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.
Former Bar Tartine and Manresa pastry chef Kendra Baker joined with business brain Zach Davis to launch a bustling food dominion on the coast.
There’s more than surf up these days in coastal Santa Cruz, where pastry chef Kendra Baker and business partner Zach Davis have launched no less than six successful food outposts since 2010. Their celestial from-scratch ice cream shops, casual eatery, acclaimed sit-down dinner house and pop-up space have been drawing slews of happy eaters in ‘Cruz. Read all about it on KQED’s Bay Area Bites blog here.
It might sound weird, but this combination produces a subtle, exciting sauce that’s particularly great with lamb.
During a recent trip to Seattle, I dined at Mistral Kitchen and had an absolutely delicious entree of lamb loin medallions with black olive caramel. This led to the inevitable task of duplicating the sauce at home, where I discovered just how easy it is to make. Some have said it’s a Catalan idea, but I’ve seen it accompanying all types of proteins and even dotting some dessert plates. The flavors are deep and interesting; earthy, slightly bitter from the olives and not particularly sweet, actually, although what sweetness is there helps to round out the flavors and add complexity. Continue reading
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