For the foodie elite, the anointing of three Michelin stars for chef David Kinch’s California restaurant Manresa was a long time coming.
In the latest edition of the red guide, for 2016, inspectors gave San Francisco and the Bay Area its fifth triple-starred restaurant with the promotion of Manresa, located an hour from San Fran in Los Gatos, California.
The latest milestone comes after years of food and restaurant critics bestowing Kinch with strings of accolades, cover stories, and adulatory features: In 2011, Kinch, described as a “culinary Mad Hatter,” was named GQ’s chef of the year.
In 2013 Bon Appetit magazine called Manresa one of the “20 Most Important Restaurants in America.”
The new Michelin ranking is, perhaps, all the more rewarding given that the restaurant was forced to close for six months last year, following a devastating fire that ripped through the building.
For the uninitiated, the culinary philosophy at Manresa centres heavily on the humble vegetable and fruit kingdom.
Instead of being used to garnish meats and proteins, they’re made the star of the plate, not unlike Alain Passard’s precedent-setting Paris restaurant L’Arpege, which also holds three stars.
Menus are dictated by the seasons, and dishes like Into the Vegetable Garden, an artistic mix of raw and cooked vegetables, are designed to impart a sense of terroir to California’s natural bounty.
Meanwhile, as popular food blog Eater points out, the San Francisco area is fast becoming a cradle for Michelin hotspots to rival its East Coast counterpart, New York, as the premiere destination for fine dining in the US. While inspectors added two restaurants to the exclusive three-starred club last year and Manresa this year, not a single restaurant in New York has been promoted to three stars since 2011.
Kinch shares his culinary philosophy and recipes in the cookbook Manresa: An Edible Reflection, which was released in 2013.