Manresa
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A Pilgrimage-Worthy Meal in California
I am one of those crazy people who doesn't think twice about traveling to remote or odd places in the name of an amazing meal. In Los Gatos, a tiny town 45 minutes from San Francisco that has an alarming number of nail salons and well, not all that much else, chef David Kinch is cooking mind-blowing food using ingredients produced almost exclusively at Love Apple Farms in the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains. Kinch often invites friends to collaborate with him and I recently dined the night chef Ben Shewry, of Melbourne’s fantastic Attica restaurant, was in town. Kinch and Shewry became friendly on the food festival circuit and quickly became surf pals. For their tag-team dinner, each chef alternated dish-for-dish of the 10-course menu. Shewry had the added challenge of dealing with flip-flopped seasons. The problem with tasting menus is that often the courses don’t connect, and sometimes the food is too precious or too thoughtful and well, just not delicious. Both chefs were able to hit the thoughtful and delicious notes. Kinch treated a gorgeous piece of asparagus like a prime cut of meat, serving it with salted butter, sesame, citrus, and fennel (photo), and Shewry’s sweet potato with cheddar and purslane may be one of the best things I ever put in my mouth. It was the perfect haute comfort food. Manresa Restaurant 320 Village Lane Los Gatos, CA (408) 354-4330, manresarestaurant.com
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