Go Behind the Scenes of ‘Mind of a Chef’ Season 4

David Kinch in the kitchen with Le Bernardin’s Eric Ripert
Scenes from “Mind of a Chef” S4: Manresa’s David Kinch at work with Eric Ripert (Le Bernardin) | Photo courtesy Mind Of A Chef/Zero Point Zero Production

For the last few weeks, Mind of a Chef’s Tumblr has been bursting with tantalizing glimpses of the PBS show’s upcoming fourth season, which will feature JWU alum David Kinch '81, '14 Hon. (Manresa) and Gabrielle Hamilton (Prune).

“Mind of a Chef” is somewhat of an anomaly in the crowded food TV landscape; its intense focus on a single chef’s creative processes for an entire 8-episode arc feels like a luxurious treat.

What other show delves so deeply into chefs’ motivations and inspirations, as well as how strongly sense of place shapes culinary POV? By seasons’ end, you feel as though you know David Chang, Magnus Nilsson, April Bloomfield, Sean Brock '00 et al. — what makes them tick, what sparks their creativity and why they create the dishes they do.

We can’t wait to see how Kinch’s episodes illuminate the chef-colleagues, farmers and ingredients that have most inspired him.

Kinch recently reopened Manresa after a two-alarm fire caused extensive damage last summer. Filming MOAC offers a unique opportunity to showcase the revamped restaurant, which the SF Chronicle called “even better than before.” (The restaurant recently celebrated its 13th anniversary.)

The photos in this post are all sneaky sneak peeks at the upcoming season, courtesy of the most excellent folks over at MOAC/Zero Point Zero Production.

What can we glean?

  • Kinch will be cooking — and probably sharing recipes — with Eric Ripert (Le Bernardin).
  • He’ll be back in the kitchen with former chef de cuisine (and near-JWU alum) Jeremy Fox (Rustic Canyon Wine Bar).
  • It’s safe to assume he’ll film at least one segment at Cynthia Sandberg’s biodynamic Love Apple Farms, which supplies Manresa with much of its highly-praised produce, herbs and edible flowers.
  • And maybe, just maybe, he’ll show us how to catch some waves. (Kinch is a dedicated surfer.)
David Kinch cooking with Jeremy Fox of Rustic Canyon Wine Bar
David Kinch cooking with former chef de cuisine Jeremy Fox of Rustic Canyon Wine Bar. | Photo courtesy Mind Of A Chef/Zero Point Zero Production

Bonus: Sean Brock on His Favorite Season 2 Moments

As a bonus, we asked S2 (and JWU Charleston) alum Sean Brock '00, '14 Hon. (Husk/McCrady’s) about his favorite S2 moments. Here’s what he had to say:

What’s the biggest thing you learned about yourself while filming MOAC?

Sean Brock: It was a crazy experience. The biggest takeaway for me was being proud of my heritage. I decided to put myself out there and I’ve been blown away with how many people have been inspired to do the same after watching “Mind Of A Chef.”

Dish you’re most proud of sharing on the show?

SB: My mom’s chicken and dumplings. It’s the perfect dish.

Did MOAC help you conceptualize the very personal narrative arc of Heritage,” your 2014 cookbook?

SB: “Mind of a Chef” was kind of like the TV or documentary version of “Heritage.”

It’s my story, it’s the way things have unfolded for me. I’m very thankful to have these two platforms to show the beauty and importance of Southern culture.

Look for Season 4 in Fall 2015. Follow “Mind of a Chef” on Twitter, Instagram + Facebook.

Related Reading:
Sean Brock: My Evolution as a Chef
The Art of Plating

Bonus Video: Sean Brock cooks chicken and dumplings with his mom, Renee Brock, on S2. From MoaC’s YouTube channel.

Below left: David Kinch and Eric Ripert film a scene for “Mind of a Chef” S4. Right: Birds-eye view of the same scene. Photo courtesy Mind Of A Chef/Zero Point Zero Production
David Kinch (with his back to the camera) and Eric Ripert filming a scene for PBS’ “Mind of a Chef.”
Topics: Alumni Food TV David Kinch