Why he killed it in 2015: Despite closing his influential Manresa after a kitchen fire two summers ago, Kinch returned this year with a newly renovated and reimagined Manresa—and a long-awaited three Michelin stars. But not one to rest on his laurels, the James Beard Award-winning chef also opened his bakery and is in the construction and DOH throes of unveiling The Bywater in Los Gatos, an ode to his hometown of New Orleans, all making for one busy and exciting year for the California legend.
How would you describe your food? "Contemporary California."
What was your biggest challenge this year? "For us, it was pretty obvious. The destruction from the fire at Manresa closed us for more than half a year. Our goal was to be open as soon as possible and hit the ground running. The time off from a day-to-day restaurant afforded us the opportunity to reexamine everything closely, how and why we did things. That said, January 2, our reopening, was like starting from scratch—a new year, new expectations. It has been a helluva year."
What's the dish you'd cook for the rest of your life? "Roast chickens."
Favorite way to cook an egg? "Fried eggs and bacon."Next Chef