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Eric Ripert , David Kinch , Christine Muhlke

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22 octobre 2013
The long-awaited cookbook by one of the San Francisco Bay Area's star chefs, David Kinch, who has revolutionized restaurant culture with his take on the farm-to-table ethic and focus on the terroir of the Northern California coast. 

Since opening Manresa in Los Gatos in 2002, Kinch has done more to create a sense of place through his food—specifically where the Santa Cruz Mountains meet the sea—than any other chef on the West Coast.

The restaurant’s thought-provoking dishes and unconventional pairings draw on techniques both traditional and modern that combine with the heart of the Manresa experience: fruits and vegetables. Through a pioneering collaboration between farm and restaurant, nearby Love Apple Farms supplies nearly all of the restaurant’s exquisite produce. Manresa is an ode to the mountains, fields, and sea; it shares the philosophies and passions of a brilliant chef whose restaurant draws its inspiration globally, while always keeping a profound connection to the people, producers, and bounty of the land that surrounds it. 

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Foreword
While attending the Masters of Food and Wine festival in Carmel, California, over ten years ago, I heard talk of this incredible chef a couple hours north in Los Gatos. No one really knew of him or the restaurant; it was getting no consideration from the media, who were too focused on the Bay Area and Napa Valley. But from what I was hearing from those who had been, I knew I should eat there.
    It was a long drive to Manresa, and I wasn’t fully convinced that I would have a great meal. When I arrived, I was surprised to be welcomed by a mature chef and not a young kid. I was immediately blown away by the meal—by the precision, the techniques, the creativity, by this “new” chef’s mastery. It was a long tasting menu, but I could have eaten ten more courses. I was in heaven.
    Back in Carmel, I couldn’t stop talking about my meal and experience in Los Gatos. I was more than preoccupied by it, I was borderline obsessed. I needed to know more. I needed to know David. Over the following years, I took the journey back to Manresa several times. In 2004, I invited David to cook with me at a small lunch at Le Bernardin so he could (finally) meet a few key members of the press. My respect for him grew and our friendship began. Not only did I want to get to know David and his approach to cooking more, I wanted other people to know about him. And so in 2009, he kindly welcomed me and a small film crew into his world while we tried to capture some of the essence of his philosophy for a TV project I was working on. David brought me surfing in Santa Cruz and gardening at Love Apple Farms. He invited me into his restaurant, his garden, his world. I learned of his methods and style and also of his determination to achieve perfection.
     What I admire most about David is his sense of humility and curiosity. He has created a very personal style of cooking without losing his connection to the seasons or to the region that beautifully surrounds his restaurant. I admire his ability to evolve, and today he is one of the pioneers of the locavore and farm-to-table movement in America as it reaches even higher levels. The desire to cook only with fresh produce and the best ingredients available is in his DNA, and nothing highlights this more than his work with Love Apple Farms. What is harvested there completely dictates Manresa’s menu. You can’t dedicate your work more to nature than that. David is more connected to nature than anyone I know. Every ounce of his energy and creativity pays homage to the bounty of his surroundings in one of the most exquisite areas of California. Each item and dish component on the menu speaks to who David is and what he is about. He is a chef, a gardener, and a surfer. He is organic, biodynamic, and sustainable. He is honest and conscientious. He is creative and committed. He is an inspirational peer and has become a great friend. The fruit of David’s work is a true gift to the industry, for which we can all be grateful.
 
Eric Ripert

INTRODUCTION
Manresa opened in Los Gatos, California, in 2002. I thought of it as the grown-up relocation of Sent Sovi, the restaurant I’d run for seven years in nearby Saratoga, where I served California bistro food: local ingredients, simply prepared. Sent Sovi was successful from Day One. But after almost a decade of operating on a shoestring budget and spinning around in an old kitchen the size of a closet, I wanted to find a space where I could finally realize my potential to cook the haute cuisine in which I’d trained and aspired to make at the time. So I was thinking about my next move and lining up investors. And then, one night in 1998, I had dinner at the French Laundry.
     Stupefied by the incredible food and wine that evening, I accidentally left my wine bag under the table. I went back to find it at nine o’clock the next morning. Thomas Keller was there alone, putting up stocks. I didn’t know him very well, but he sat down and asked if I wanted a coffee. He asked what I was doing. I told him about Sent Sovi, adding that I was thinking of moving to a bigger place.
     “Can I give you some advice?” he said. I thought, of course you can, Sir Thomas...He continued, “If you have the opportunity, buy it.” He’d purchased the French Laundry and the surrounding buildings—a deal that countless California chefs had turned down, unable to make the numbers work for such a small restaurant.
     “But that’s a lot of money,” I said.
     “Of course it is. But if you buy it, you’ll be able to retire. You will be a slave to your restaurant for twenty years, but look at what we do: It’s a good thing to be wedded to the site because it prevents you from walking away. Plus, you’ll attract a different quality of investor. You’ll attract people who realize that it’s really a real-estate deal where a restaurant happens to be taking place.”
     So I scrapped my business plan and changed tack: I would buy a place and set down roots.
     A chance to move to San Francisco, sixty miles north, fell through at the last minute. But then I stumbled upon a vacant building for sale six miles down the road from Sent Sovi in Los Gatos, another charmingly quaint Silicon Valley bedroom community tucked into the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
     Hidden downtown behind a little rabbit warren of one-way streets and bank parking lots, the Village House had been a restaurant and event space until it was left to rot about fifteen years before. I felt an immense attraction to the ramshackle ranch house, which I hadn’t felt at the last three dozen places I had explored. The roof had holes in it. The interior was gutted. Inside, the remaining four walls had been spray-painted with stoner graffiti by kids. It was a blank canvas in what was, for me at least, an ideal location. I saw that with some immediate improvements, I’d be able to create my version of the small, personal restaurants that had so profoundly changed me when I was a chef in my early twenties, apprenticing and traveling in France, Spain, and Germany. (Hint: they weren’t the ones with long, tree-lined driveways and Relais & Châteaux plaques next to the doors.)
     During those years in the early 1980s, I saved all of my money to dine at my heroes’ restaurants—Paul Bocuse, Maison Pic, and the great Alain Chapel—and as many great country restaurants as I could. They were places off the beaten track. Going there was a journey, the place a destination. I’d slip down a side street and walk around looking for the address. Is it here? Did I pass it already? The entryway was typically understated, and as soon as I crossed the threshold, it was like entering someone’s grand yet intimate home (and sometimes I was). These restaurants were the creations of people who had a vision and worked hard to achieve it, creating lasting memories of comfort, welcoming service, impeccable food, and good wine.
     What stayed with me most was how each restaurant spoke not only of those who ran the house but also of where it was: Each was unique to its location, like the five-house town of Mionnay, which I drove into and out of several times while trying to find Alain Chapel. (Finally, one of the old men playing boules across the street from the restaurant helped me.) After I’d eaten at a few of these establishments, it dawned on me that even if the town was unremarkable, the environment added an important context to the meal. It was the first time I had experienced what later came to be known as “sense of place,” and it was an incredible awakening. During those years at       Sent Sovi, it was always in the back of my mind.
Sent Sovi was where I fell in love with the act and process of cooking, and where I began to understand how it could affect people—much like I’d been moved in Europe. I loved the creativity of the kitchen, learning from successes and failures, working with fire and realizing my whole life was spent learning to control it. Mostly I loved the pleasure and happiness that I could give to others, as well as to myself. Sent Sovi provided me with a great opportunity to get to know California’s ingredients, but I was ready to go deeper into technique, which I just couldn’t do in such a casual restaurant. I was finally ready to create the experience of a specific place through cooking at a high level in a space that would feel like my home.
     Once I looked past that shell of a building—tucked into a corner of Los Gatos like the town itself was tucked into a corner of the Santa Cruz Mountains—I saw its potential to become such a restaurant. Here was my chance. If I could build it as I imagined it, would people drive even from San Francisco to dine there, like I’d once sought out restaurants in the European countryside? I couldn’t wait to find out.
 
Green Garlic Panisse

Makes about one hundred 1 1/4 by 2-inch pieces
 
 A simple snack that takes advantage of the season’s first garlic, which is harvested before the bulbs form. Delicious hot or cold.
 
250 grams (9 ounces) white portion of green garlic
100 grams (7 tablespoons) butter
100 grams (7 1/2 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil
1.9 kilograms (8 cups) whole milk
45 grams (3 tablespoons) kosher salt
475 grams (3 1/2 cups) sifted chickpea flour 
1 Meyer lemon
Grapeseed oil, for deep frying
 
Line a half sheet pan (13 by 18 by 1-inch pan) with oiled parchment paper.
Split the garlic lengthwise and rinse care...

Revue de presse

“In this age of just-add-water celebrity chefs, David Kinch has never sought the spotlight, but acclaim has rightly found him anyway. This wonderful book is a window into why. Kinch fills its pages with the same qualities that infuse his restaurant, revealing the dedication, creativity, and refreshing humility that underpin everything he does.”
—Thomas Keller, Chef and owner, The French Laundry

“David Kinch’s writing isn’t simply about cooking, rather it’s a life philosophy. Without a doubt, Manresa is one of the greatest restaurants in the world.”
—Ferran Adrià

“I love the sweet craziness of this great roaster and saucier! Vegetable-based cuisine has honed and sharpened his senses, making this big-hearted boy a veritable couturier of vegetable material. David Kinch has the passion of the seasons; he understands that the most beautiful cookbook has been written by nature and has thus entrusted his creativity to what the land and sea provide.”
—Alain Passard, Chef and owner, l’arpège
 
Manresa embodies an ideal for all restaurateurs—the natural and delicate expression of its cuisine perfectly reflects David’s personality. Enormous passion can be felt in the aesthetics of his food. There are many chefs in this world, yet David Kinch is one of the few who is trying to open a new gate. This book contains the key.”
—Yoshihiro Murata, Chef and owner, Kikunoi Honten, Kikunoi Akasaka, and Kikunoi Roan
 

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Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5  46 commentaires
42 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An exquisite addition to any cookbook collection 23 octobre 2013
Par Casey Ellis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I have loved David Kinch's cooking since I discovered his first small restaurant, Sent Sovi, and have enjoyed countless brilliant dinners at Manresa as it grew in size and elegance over the years into the Michelin 2-star restaurant it is today. I knew any cookbook David authored would be wonderfully written and filled with helpful information, but I was bowled over by the beauty of this book--from the embossed cover to the exquisite photographs. And although many of the recipes are special occasion fare, there are plenty that are extremely simple to execute. This morning, for example, I made the best omelet I've eaten outside France--and I've been making omelets for 50 years.
The book also explains the relationship between the restaurant and Love Apple Farm, where Cynthia Sandberg grows the produce for Manresa on mountainside terraces in Santa Cruz -- a great story of rare seeds collected from around the world and produce that is picked when it's perfect--not when commercial shipping schedules dictate.
This book will be my holiday gift for for friends who love cooking, gardening and eating at a sublime level.
42 internautes sur 46 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 In my dining experience, no other American chef distills (and refines) his locale onto the plate better than David Kinch. 3 novembre 2013
Par Owen M. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
First things first; this is a remarkable book written by a unique chef. It's easily worth the price tag. And it's a refreshing, inspiring change from most of the volumes hitting the culinary shelves these days.

For instance, it's *not* a "hot new chef book" by somebody who has run a kitchen for a year or two and who is now trying to parley his 15 minutes of fame into a half hour. Instead, chef/author David Kinch has been at the stove for more than three decades in Louisiana, New York, California and Europe, and he knows exactly what he's talking about.

It's *not* a "TV chef book" by somebody more attuned to staring into the camera while flashing a mouthful of shiny white teeth than focusing on the precise but natural-looking plates going out of his kitchen. To my knowledge, Chef Kinch's only foray into the wild, wild world of the Food Network was back in 2009, when he thoroughly kicked Bobby Flay's butt in Battle Cabbage on Iron Chef America. Rather than jump on the fabled media bandwagon after that experience, Chef Kinch went back to what he intimately knows and loves - his restaurant, and all that it involves.

And it's *not* a "coffee table cookbook," meant simply to look great in your living room this holiday season. Yes, on first gaze, it looks that way. Oversized ... check. Texturally-correct abalone shell on the cover ... check. Absolutely killer photographs (from Eric Wolfinger) sprinkled here, there & everywhere ... check. But it's *way* more than that.

This is the rare culinary treatise that embodies so much more than recipes. It encompasses Chef Kinch's philosophies (insofar as things like these can be captured by the written word) about food, nature, cooking, hospitality, technology, professionalism, respect (in all its relevant guises), mentoring the next generation of chefs, etc. It's an ode to his 11 year old restaurant, Manresa, and his life in the industry.

I've dined at Manresa several times (and enjoyed Chef Kinch's hospitality at Sent Sovi - his previous restaurant - well over a decade ago). But don't think that I'm just raving about the book because I've been to the restaurant. If anything, my firsthand experiences only increased my expectations for the book. Clearly, I needn't have worried.

You should understand upfront that Chef Kinch's recipes weren't designed for home cooks or home kitchens. This is Michelin-starred stuff folks, presented the way do it at Manresa. Indeed, to me, the recipes are included primarily because they are necessary to tell the story of the chef and the restaurant. That some folks will want to duplicate the food at home, I think, is necessarily secondary. For most of us mere kitchen mortals, some of the recipes are inspirational; we may never be able to exactly reproduce them, but we can still take from them pearls of wisdom for use in our own cooking.

Now, does that mean it's impossible to make all of these recipes at home even if you are a reasonably skilled home cook with a well-outfitted home kitchen? No, of course not; some are really pretty simple. But you need to recognize that many recipes require time and attention to detail. Many include obscure or not easily sourced ingredients, too, but for me, that's part of the book's charm. It speaks directly to Chef Kinch's desire to make Manresa distinctive while still focusing on the local, the seasonal, the best of what's available to him. If you really want to cook from this book, read the recipes carefully before you step into the kitchen ... heck, before you even think about heading to the market. Then you'll know which ones your kitchen, local markets and cooking skill level can accommodate and which ones you can dream about eating at Manresa.

The bulk of Chef Kinch's recipes shun flashy, high tech gizmos (like Pacojets and immersion circulators) and ingredients (like hydrocolloids). He's not blind to the potential advantages technology offers culinary professionals, but at heart he's a cook's cook. As he notes in a brilliant little essay entitled, "Creativity and Technology," beginning at page 251, "what I've learned is that I want to use the best possible techniques that are right for me, whether they are ultramodern or ultratraditional." In other words, if a lamb rack cooked in a water bath no longer has the texture of lamb, why bother? Why, indeed.

This book also plumbs the details of Chef Kinch's relationships with his purveyors, most especially Cynthia Sandberg's Love Apple Farms, with which Manresa has an exclusive association. These local connections with passionate folks allow Manresa to showcase the terroir of the Santa Cruz Mountains foothills in an utterly unique way. And, boy, does he take advantage of it.

In my dining experience, no other American chef distills (and refines) his locale onto the plate better than David Kinch. You usually hear the word "terroir," roughly translated as "a sense of place," in the world of fine wines, but it's certainly an apt description of what Chef Kinch relates in this book and in the Manresa dining room. And he's more than happy to share the limelight; as he so correctly notes at the end of a short piece beginning on page 9 called, "How I Met Cynthia Sandberg," "thanks to Love Apple Farms, our food tastes of nowhere else in the world."

If you have any interest at all in learning what goes on in one very creative and successful culinary mind when it comes to developing dishes and menus, please read, "Building a Dish: 1, 2, 3" (p. 163) and "Building a Menu," (p. 191). Really ... I mean it. Even if you have to borrow somebody else's copy or (gasp!) sneak off to your nearest brick and mortar bookstore.

In my opinion, the cookbook segment of the market has been over-saturated for years, and so it's rare and gratifying to find a book like this one that both informs and resonates without sounding preachy or holier-than-thou.
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wonderful culinary work 3 novembre 2013
Par Bill Cornell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
This is a cookbook in name, only. It has detailed recipes, but it's more a meditation on food and cooking by a fabulously inventive chef whom embraced the "localvore" philosophy long before it became a trend. One of Kinch's approaches is a 3-ingredient combination, where the last one is the surprise. I appreciated learning how he thinks about preparing a dish, including what to leave out.

The photos are truly fantastic: I've never seen a culinary book that had better. If you one day get the chance to eat at Manresa or to visit Love Apple Farms for the first time, you're in for a profound experience.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 I really wanted to love this book but… 7 janvier 2014
Par Frank LaManna - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I pre-ordered this book based on many things I had heard about Manressa, the restaurant. It was my kind of book. It had an admired chef, a restaurant that was drawing people to its obscure location, and new recipes for me to get my hands into. I waited months, and finally received my copy.

Manressa: an Edible Reflection, falls somewhere between The French
Laundry Cookbook and Grant Achez’s Alinea cookbook. In the French Laundry Cookbook, Thomas Keller’s goal is clean tastes; In Alinea, Achetz goes for a total sensory experience. David Kinch, of Manressa, focuses on terrior, or “sense of place.”
Keller aims at three bites per portion, Achetz (often) at one. Kinch at two.

Right there, that should tell the reader what he or she is getting into. This is not a book about casual food, nor even “fine food.” This is a book for someone who is very serious, and who appreciates and wants to experience what a driven chef has to offer. Manresssa (the book and the restaurant) is about tweezers-arranged preparations and attention, attention, attention, to detail.

I found the book to be almost all of what I wanted it to be. Manressa: an Edible Reflection is an intense book. David Kinch found his epiphanic moment when he connected with Love Apple Farm, and built on that experience, taking the well worn California mantra, “buy the best available product and cook in season,” and elevating it to new levels to try to create a “sense of place” for his restaurant. Love Apple farm is not simply a purveyor, it is an interactive player where Kinch not only purchases the produce, but indicates what he wants planted. Vegetables seldom, if ever, see refrigeration. Fresh means exactly that. The same is true of his other purveyors. Their bounty powers his menu. His relationship with them is extraordinary. Although he doesn’t forage like René Redzepi, (well, not all the time) he does devote considerable energy to making vegetables sing, and puts the proteins in a different relation to the presentation than what is commonly done.

The book is full of beautiful pictures and David Kinch’s text is interesting to read, at once philosophical and technical, and there is enough of his writing that the book is worth it for that alone. He is pragmatic enough to make use of any techniques and equipment that will bring him closer to producing what he feels will give the reader a sense place, of what is Manressa. He explains everything, from the butter which they make in house from locally sourced dairy products to things like infusing with peach leaves to add another dimension to an offering.

So why a four and not a five?

My problem with this book comes in relation to the recipes. I expected them to contain hard to find ingredients; locating places to purchase them is part of the fun of cooking at this level, and there is a list of purveyors provided. My problem is that none of the recipes have been tested or adapted to the home kitchen; all are exactly as they do them in the restaurant. Of course, it is Chef Kinch’s prerogative to do so, but in doing so, Chef Kinch has created a small but noticeable distance between himself and the reader like myself who wishes to use the recipes, that seems to belie his desire to “share” Manressa. Even if I obtain everything needed, will I be able to cook them in my kitchen?

If the reader turns to the “How to use this book,” section, he or she is exhorted to try more ambitious recipes, but “ambition” sometimes translates into “equipment.” The difficulties of a number of the well-spelled out recipes often have less to do with ambitiously following steps or even obtaining materials, and more to do with having a combi-oven (one that introduces steam…you can buy a .6 cubic foot countertop one for only $300 that will just about hold a small chicken).

This means, for example, that his interesting method of roasting, as time consuming as it is, probably would not work with my oven.

I have cooked recipes from enough high end restaurants to know that chefs at this end of the spectrum have access to high end equipment. Many of them, however, when writing a book for mass distribution, take that situation into account and offer alternatives or home testing. (Thomas Keller in Bouchon Bakery offers, for example, a tested chain-rock-super soaker squirt gun method to put steam into a home oven for baking bread.) Those things are missing in Manressa. While some alternatives are offered, essentially, the reader is told that if you don’t have the high tech equipment (and sometimes the “low tech” equipment that he uses for making butter), then, for many of the recipes, well…you are on your own.

Readers who have purchased, or are considering purchasing the book for other reasons, or who own super high-tech equipment, may, understandably, see things differently. For me, although I can understand all of the reasons why the recipes were not adapted for, or tested in, the home kitchen and could even find myself defending those reasons, still, the distance was a little disappointing. Testing in a home kitchen would have, for me, put this book over the top.

There are also some other admittedly nit-picking items. A small item was the de rigor use well worn mantra of getting the best materials, and treating them respectfully. Use them in season and buy locally, unless you are speaking about truffles, foi gras, and caviar (maybe lobster, too?). I have heard it over many years, and have come to question it. Shouldn’t one of the responsibilities of a chef be to locate and bring forth the potential in the bounty he or she is offered? Should there be no fried green tomatoes because they are not perfectly ripe, or tomato water from over ripe tomatoes?

Another item just proved annoying. The book ended with an abstract and somewhat gratuitous stream of consciousness epilogue which appeared to try to capture the essence of David Kinch. In it there was a line about David Kinch seldom using “I.” I found “I” many, many times in the book, and it should be so. This is, after all, his book, and his dream, so why present him as something that he isn’t?

I like the book, and I am fascinated by the author. I thumb through it often. I think that most people interested in restaurants at this level will find it an excellent read. Being stubborn, I may try, with the equipment I have, to approximate some of the more difficult ones anyway, and see what happens. Maybe converting things on my own is David Kinch’s challenge to readers like me

Amazon does not allow for fractions, or I would have scored it at 4.5. I like the book, but like the person one almost married, I find myself not loving it as I thought I would.
28 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Other Worldly 14 décembre 2013
Par John Salce - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
A beautiful book with inspiring photos and a list of ingredients that are not simply seasonal but almost entirely unavailable to the vast majority of home cooks. I could be wrong on this second observation, of course, and it's quite possible that I am one of those unfortunate few who would have great difficulty getting his hands on ice plant leaves, purslane, ground cherries, red verjuice, etrog citron, buddha hand citron, golden nori, etc., and whose wallet would certainly feel the pinch of obtaining perfectly fresh abalone, Russian osetra caviar, foie gras, fresh porcini and black truffles. The book is advertised as a "farm-to-table" cookbook, conjuring up baskets of local strawberries and, perhaps, nothing more "exotic" than purple basil, lovage, and other produce readily and easily grown in one's own garden; so, after purchasing this book and perusing the recipes, their cosmopolitan ingredients, their long and exacting procedures, I am left wondering, in what galaxy does this homey "farm" exist?
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