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David Kinch on Manresa, Fine Dining and Finding Balance

David Kinch’s restaurant Manresa is often described as the epitome of California cuisine — but that’s not the whole story. Manresa is indeed a temple of sun-kissed produce, fresh seafood and the kind of hyper-locality that East Coast restaurants can only dream of. But Kinch’s culinary influences defy borders.

Chef David Kinch Returns to JWU

On the fourth floor of JWU Providence’s Cuisinart Center for Culinary Excellence, the kitchen is humming with singular intensity. David Kinch '81, '14 Hon., the James Beard Award-winning chef-owner of Manresa in Los Gatos, California, is leading a team of Johnson & Wales culinary students in the execution of an intricate 5-course menu.

Into the Garden: My Internship at Manresa

JWU Providence student Cameron Sycks spent the summer working at Manresa, the Los Gatos, Calif., restaurant owned by chef David Kinch ’81, ’14 Hon. and widely acknowledged as one of the finest restaurants in the world. (In 2015, Manresa was awarded a coveted third Michelin star — making it one of only 5 Bay Area restaurants so honored.)

Kinch’s vegetable-centric, heavily Japanese-influenced cuisine packs a quiet power. Here, Cam tells us what it was like to work in such a focused, influential — and inspirational — kitchen.

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

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.