Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Manresa: An Edible Reflection Hardcover – October 22, 2013
|New from||Used from|
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“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.”
“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
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
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.
David Kinch, Manresa. From "Mind of a Chef."
How can I begin to be objective about David Kinch, and about his restaurant Manresa? I came to know Manresa following the trail of Jeremy Fox after he left Charleston for the West Coast. I think the vegetable focused, micro seasonal approach of Manresa, along with its unique relationship with Love Apple Farms, played a pivotal role for Fox as he developed his own voice. A voice that would eventually earn him a Michelin star at Ubuntu, a vegetarian restaurant above a yoga studio in Napa. But I digress...
Manresa's cuisine is not only beautiful, but thoughtful. Every component is there because it needs to be there, period. Consider his dish "Into the Vegetable Garden." It's been on the menu for several years, but continues to evolve on a daily basis depending upon what walks in the kitchen door from Love Apple Farms. It was inspired by Michelle Bras' "Gargouillou," a composed salad dish that includes 50-60 components. (A dish that's also been interpreted by the likes of Grant Achatz, Paul Virant and Daniel Patterson FYI.)
I greatly admire David Kinch from afar. His cuisine reflects time and place. He is transparent about his sourcing, inspiration and technique. He continues to lead, teach and inspire. After a fire very nearly claimed Manresa in 2014, David took the rebuild time to plan a bakery that these days is now crushing it. This year, the culinary community eagerly looks forward to his opening of The Bywater, a casual, New Orleans themed eatery with David Morgan, a chef from John Besh's Restaurant August in NOLA. Kinch grew up in New Orleans, and counts 2 years spent at Commander's Palace among the first of his jobs at 16, so in a way, The Bywater marks a return to his past. I know it will be delicious.
By now you see what I mean- it's hard to be objective about David Kinch and his restaurant Manresa. In my estimation, the Manresa cookbook is one of a handful of essential reads / purchases of the past 5 years.
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.