6/12/2012 12:16:00 PM

The Manresa Family Tree: Where to Find David Kinch Protégés In the Bay

Photo: Mark Holthusen
Yesterday, we told you about the weeklong series of guest chef dinners hosted by David Kinch to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of his restaurant Manresa. All the collaborative dinners sound enticing, but Kinch says he’s “most excited about the weekend dinners,” for which he’s invited some of his former chefs back into the kitchen. Not all of the notable alums are still working in the Bay Area (many have flown South or scored private gigs), but many are. So if you can’t make it to one of the star-studded alumni dinners (and even if you do), consider checking out the stomping grounds of his talented offspring, where it’s easy to detect that certain David Kinch je ne sais quoi influence.

James Syhabout: Kinch's former chef de cuisine Syhabout has gone on to make his own indelible mark on the local dining scene, though across the bridge in Oakland, at his Lilliputian tasting menu lair Commis, where he displays his molecular gastronomy wizardry in a Spartan modern digs (Commis, 3859 Piedmont Ave., Oakland; 510-653-3902).

Michael Gaines: The former Manresa alum has headed north to San Francisco where he’s chef de cuisine at Central Kitchen. His whimsical ham-and-cheese makeover, toppled with a tussle of esoteric microgreens is pure Kinch-ean (Central Kitchen, 2000 20th St., 415-826-7004).

John Paul Carmona: Featured as one of our 30 Under 30 honorees, Carmona was formerly Manresa's chef de cuisine and then later assumed the role of pastry chef. He’s currently a partner at 3 Mile Group and in between gigs, but we’ve spied him helping out in the kitchen of Central Kitchen, working alongside his Manresa compatriot Michael Gaine. He's also a gun for hire via Kitchit.com

Kim Alter: Alter spent a year as chef de partie down in the Kinch kitchen. She later went on to work with Manresa alum Jeremy Fox up at Napa’s Ubuntu before heading up the kitchen at Sausalito’s Plate Shop. Alter left that venture rather quickly but she’s back, currently wowing critics at Haven in Oakland’s Jack London Square. Note: Alter is not one of the alums cooking at the 10-year alumni dinner (Haven, 44 Webster St., Oakland, 510-663-4440).

Marty Cattaneo: The Manresa alum is now heading the stoves not far away at the big fat upscale Greek restaurant Dio Deka, also in Los Gatos (Dio Deka, 210 East Main St., Los Gatos; 408-354-7700).

Belinda Leong: Manresa’s former pastry chef is set to open a brick-and-mortar venue for her bakery B Pâtisserie, but in the meantime you can find her pastries at Salumeria, Four Barrel, Sightglass Coffee, Farm:Table, Bi-Rite Market and occasional pop-ups at the Ferry Building.

Isaac Miller: The Kinch alum worked at Sons & Daughters for six months before the young owners tapped him to oversee the menu at their quick-service spin-off Sweet Woodruff (Sweet Woodruff, 798 Sutter St, 415-292-9090).

Zack Freitas: Freitas worked for one-and-a-half years working at Manresa before jumping ship to become the executive chef at Station 1 and later help open Commis with cohort James Syhabout. He has since moved on to become chef de cuisine/right-hand man for Hoss Zare at Zare at The Fly Trap in San Francisco (Zare at The Fly Trap, 606 Folsom St, 415-‪415-243-0580‬).

Kendra Baker: Another former Manresa pastry chef, Kendra Baker has gone on to open her own organic ice shop, The Penny Ice Creamery, in Downtown Santa Cruz (The Penny Ice Creamery, 913 Cedar Street, Santa Cruz; 831-204-2523).

Tyson Greenwood: The young chef put in time at Manresa before joining the Tyler Florence Group, where he holds the title of culinary director. His influence can be felt at all of TyFlo's properties and ventures which include Wayfare Tavern and El Paseo. No word on how the Rotisserie & Wine closure affects him.

Ryan Baker: The former chef de partie of Manresa is now a private chef that can hired for bespoke dinner parties at chez nous courtesy of Kitchit (www.kitchit.com).

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