After 20 years in Michelin-starred Manresa, chef David Kinch is retiring at the end of 2022 and offers offers for the restaurant Los Gatos | Peninsula Foodist | The peninsula foodist

By Julia Brown

Manresa chef David Kinch leaves the restaurant at the end of the year and presents offers for the sale of the business and the Los Gatos property. (Photo by Chris Schmauch)

The chef behind one of the most renowned local fine-dining restaurants, David Kinch of the three-star Michelin Manresa in Los Gatos, announced in a surprise statement on Monday morning that he was leaving his post at the end of 2022 to renew his goal. on its more laid-back Bay Area establishments.

News of Kinch’s departure on Dec. 31 comes a month after the restaurant celebrated its 20th anniversary with special tasting menus and a dinner in collaboration with highly acclaimed French chef Anne Sophie-Pic. Manresa is now planning a series of seasonal menus showcasing new dishes and classics from the past two decades until the end of the year.

“I fell in love with the cuisine, the restaurant culture and the art of hospitality growing up in New Orleans,” Kinch said in the statement. “From that point on, I set my sights on building a home in this industry, and that has been my sole focus ever since, often at the expense of cultivating other aspects of my life, both professional and personal. For the past 20 years, Manresa has basically been my whole life. And like all passion projects, it has been more challenging and rewarding than I could have imagined.

“A three-star Michelin restaurant demands nothing less than your best, he continued. “I could always be found in the kitchen because I was proud and I liked being a work leader, with our team, behind the stove. It’s backbreaking work that requires you to show up to your fullest every day, with no excuses. From January 1, I hope to establish a new balance, to focus on the next exciting chapter of my life. I look forward to dedicating my professional endeavors to The Bywater, Mentone and Manresa Bread, and having the time and freedom to explore exciting new pursuits and revisit long neglected passions.

Kinch added that he will present offers for the business and the property at 320 Village Lane in Los Gatos, leaving the historic restaurant’s future uncertain beyond 2022 as the peninsula’s dining scene continues to change after the start of the pandemic. He could not be immediately reached for an interview due to travel.

David Kinch’s departure to focus on his more casual restaurants follows a trend among fine-dining establishments on the peninsula since the start of the pandemic to turn to casual. (Photo by Marc Fiorito)

Kinch’s departure to focus on its more casual restaurants follows a trend among fine-dining establishments on the peninsula to turn to casual dining. Palo Alto’s Baumé lost two Michelin stars and switched to the more casual Bistronomie by Baumé earlier this year, and Rasa in Burlingame gave up a Michelin star to reopen as the more casual concept Saffron in June. Chef Saffron Ajay Walia and Chef Bistronomie by Baumé Bruno Chemel said in interviews with the Peninsula Foodist that the luxury and demands associated with a Michelin-starred restaurant no longer suited them, adding that pandemic pressures such as price increases costs were also taken into account in their decisions. .

Manresa was among several fine-dining restaurants on the peninsula that offered take-out at the start of the pandemic, offering customers a take-out menu for more than a year. Manresa typically offers a seasonal tasting menu nightly for $325 to $425 per person.

“A lot of our (take-out) menus weren’t expensive menus, they were everyday menus for everyone on a Tuesday or Thursday – not just a special occasion,” Kinch told the Peninsula Foodist in December 2021. “I think people enjoyed that. People came regularly. »

Asked at the time about the future of fine dining given the upheaval caused by COVID, Kinch said, “I think what fine dining is really about is providing a truly stellar experience. Gastronomy is not going away. There will always be people who will demand this type of experience, but there are things that are going to have to change. We’re starting to see that now.

Manresa also faced adversity before the pandemic, temporarily closing twice in four years after the 2014 and 2018 fires.

Despite the setbacks, the restaurant has received a long list of accolades and awards, making it a foodie destination for locals and visitors alike. Manresa has received three Michelin stars for six consecutive years, and Kinch has been named Best Chef by the James Beard Foundation: Pacific and has been recognized by Le Chef as one of the top 10 chefs in the world.

The Manresa name has branched out in recent years as Avery Ruzicka, who took a job at Manresa as a food runner to get her foot in the door before becoming a head baker after a year, launched the first spin-off bakery Manresa Bread in Los Gatos in 2015. The restaurant took off and has since expanded to Los Altos, Campbell and Palo Alto.

Reservations for Manresa are available through the end of November on Tock, with December spots coming soon.

Manresa, 320 Village Lane, Los Gatos; 408-354-4330. Instagram: @manresarestaurant.

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