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Manresa: An Edible Reflection Hardcover – October 22, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Review

“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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (October 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607743973
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607743972
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 1.4 x 11.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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