World Chefs: Manresa's Kinch focuses on Northern California food

Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:02am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - David Kinch, chef-proprietor of Manresa restaurant in Los Gatos, California, believes the great dishes are usually the simpler ones.

"The food that lingers in peoples' memory is not the fancy molecular food with tons of ingredients and complexity," said Kinch. "The dishes that linger are usually simple, well-thought out, and well contextualized by a chef who knows when to say no."

Manresa, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, has held two Michelin stars for five years. It ranked 48th in Restaurant Magazine's 50 Best Restaurants list for 2012.

Kinch spoke to Reuters about cutting-edge Northern California cuisine, his sense of place, and the premium he puts on creating a hedonistic, customer-friendly dining experience at his restaurant.

Q: Did you always want to be a chef?

A: "Working in a restaurant has been the only job I've ever done. I grew up in New Orleans, which has a great food and restaurant culture, and I started working in restaurants after school. My experience has always been in restaurants."

Q: How would you describe the cuisine at Manresa?

A: "I would describe the food at the restaurant as very, very personal. At a very basic level, we cook food we like, don't cook food we don't like. We're trying to create a northern California experience with the restaurant so it's not only reflective of who we are, but where we are. We bring in a lot of influences, but we try to stay within the context of where we are.   Continued...

David Kinch, Chef-Proprietor of Manresa restaurant, poses in Los Gatos, California in this 2011 handout photo. REUTERS/Mark Holthusen/Handout