The Other Critics

SF Mag Bows Down to David Kinch, Says Manresa ‘Eludes Classification’

Kinch, overlooking the surf.
Kinch, overlooking the surf.

In July, Josh Sens re-reviewed Manresa and gave it four stars. This month finds him penning a lengthy profile of chef David Kinch, relaying the story of Kinch’s Iron Chef appearance in 2008 (he whupped Bobby Flay’s ass), and generally applauding the man who never went after national fame, and who’s a little embarrassed by the attention he’s gotten this year — including some glowing words from GQ’s Alan Richman, getting later named that mag’s Chef of the Year, a profile in Bon Appétit, and having Michael Bauer gush that he’d give Manresa five stars if he could.

Kinch, overlooking the surf.

We also learn that despite a wealth of knowledge and study of Europe’s great chefs, Kinch’s defining mentor was self-taught New York chef Barry Wine, whose pioneering 1980s restaurant The Quilted Giraffe was a training ground for Kinch as well as Tom Colicchio and S.F.’s Jan Birnbaum (Epic Roasthouse) among others.

Sens notes that Kinch’s sous chefs tend to “linger,” and that Kinch has not only been mentor and/or idol to some of the most acclaimed young chefs in the Bay Area (Jeremy Fox, James Syhabout, Kim Alter, Jason Fox, and the Sons & Daughters boys to name a few), but his restaurant has also grown from “the status of a cult rock band with a following in Europe … [to] something of a national darling.”

And then we have a bold but probably accurate quote from Syhabout to cap off Kinch’s laudatory year: “When you think of all the people who have come through his kitchen, and the way his style has spread to other restaurants, David Kinch has done more than any chef since Alice Waters to reshape California cuisine.”

David Kinch steps up to the plate [SF Mag]
Earlier: Michael Bauer Calls David Kinch ‘an Artist’, Renews Manresa’s Four Stars
GQ Names David Kinch Chef of the Year, Tries to Define His Cooking Style Without Saying ‘Farm-to-Table’

SF Mag Bows Down to David Kinch, Says Manresa ‘Eludes