Unlike many other nationally renowned chefs, David Kinch has resisted the siren song of empire-building, and can still be found most nights in the kitchen at his two-Michelin-starred Manresa in Los Gatos. But now it appears he's finally decided to spread his wings a little by opening a bakery. In an interview with Toqueland, he says that he and Manresa's head baker Avery Ruzicka "have a letter of intent on a space that we really like; not to jinx it or anything like that, but that's what we're moving forward on." Ruzicka has already been popping up at South Bay farmer's markets as Manresa Bread Project, selling loaves and other baked goods, so this would presumably be a brick-and-mortar extension of that project. "This bakery is going to allow me to stretch my wings a little bit," says Kinch. "It's fairly low-impact for me because I've got some really fabulous, tremendous employees."
But while the bakery won't distract too much from Kinch's work at Manresa, he tells Toqueland that he does have other ideas for new restaurants. "Over the years, Manresa's produced an exceptional list of cooks that have gone on to do amazing things, and none of them for me," he says. "They've gone on to become the competition because I've been slow or negligent or perhaps not smart enough to create the opportunities to keep them in the family like a lot of other chefs have done. And I think I have a couple of other projects in me and I'm working on that." Whatever they are, he says they would be "restaurant projects, certainly not fine dining...I have maybe a bar idea, maybe a casual restaurant idea. But I want to do them not because I have to because that's what a 'successful' chef does. I want to do them because I want to, because I feel really right about the idea. It's what the bakery feels like."
As for the bakery, Kinch says it should arrive around the end of the year, provided the desired space goes through. We'll have more on where and what that space will be as details are revealed.