Northern California culinary juggernaut David Kinch dropped a surprise announcement in the early hours of Monday morning: The James Beard Award-winning chef will leave his three-Michelin-star Silicon Valley restaurant Manresa at the end of the year. Bloomberg’s Kate Krader reported the chef’s upcoming departure first. The surprise news marks the end of an area for not only Manresa but also the broader Bay Area dining scene, as the restaurant, which opened in 2002, helped cement the region’s reputation as a true fine dining destination.
According to a press release, Kinch will end his tenure at the Los Gatos restaurant on December 31; afterward, he’ll shift his focus to his more casual projects including New Orleans-inspired the Bywater; Italian and French-inflected Mentone, located near Santa Cruz; and Manresa Bread, with its four locations scattered around the South Bay and Penninsula. Kinch says the decision comes after two decades of contorting his life around Manresa’s operation. “A three-Michelin-starred restaurant requires nothing less than your best,” the chef says in a release. “One could always find me in the kitchen as I prided myself on and loved being a working Chef, with our team, behind the stoves. This is back-breaking work that demands you show up at your fullest every day, no excuses.” Stepping away from the legendary restaurant will allow him to “establish a new equilibrium,” he says, and “the time and freedom to explore some exciting new pursuits, and revisit long-neglected passions.”
As for the future of the restaurant, things seem unclear. Per the release, Kinch will be fielding offers to purchase both the Manresa property at 320 Village Lane and the business itself — though a spokesperson confirms the chef hopes “it continues on as Manresa.” In the meantime, Kinch says he’s working with Manresa Chef de Cuisine Nicholas Romero and Pastry Chef Courtney Moisant to write a “joyous four months”-worth of seasonal menus including both new dishes and classics from the past 20 years. Reservations are available through the end of November on Tock, and December dates will be added soon.