"We’re very, very excited to be part of the Verve San Francisco opening. I know that Verve has been talking about it for a long time and we’ve been looking for the right reason and the right purpose to expand Manresa Bread into San Francisco. I know it’s a long way to transport, so it had to be for a very solid foundational reason and of course with Verve opening up it makes perfect sense." - David Kinch, Chef/Owner of Manresa, Founder of Manresa Bread, Chef/Owner of The Bywater
David Kinch is not only one of the most focused and intentional chefs in the world, having earned the coveted third Michelin Star at his California restaurant Manresa, but also a soulful man who enjoys the serenity of surfing California’s rugged coast while contemplating biodynamic farming and how the sun breathes life into food. Needless to say, it was a pleasure to sit down and ask him a few questions.
VCR | Thanks for taking the time to sit with us, David. We always start with the same question: What is your passion?
DK | Food. It’s what I do.
VCR | Where did it come from?
DK | Growing up, there was a period of time where I lived in New Orleans, and I really got exposed to food being ingrained in the culture of a particular place. I started working in restaurants there after school and fell in love with it and the happiness aspect. It’s creative, you work with your hands.
VCR | Tell us about your last Adventure...
DK | I was in Japan last November for a conference. I ate at some great restaurants in Tokyo, but then I flew up to Sapporo in the North. It was winter time, there was snow on the ground - a completely different vibe from Tokyo. I actually just flew up there to eat at one particular restaurant that happens to be French. The chef was in Manresa in the spring and I told him if I was ever close I would come and see him and he took great care of me.
VCR | Any adventure you’re yet to have?
DK | I would love to go to Sicily and rent a Villa with a big kitchen. I hear the markets are really sensational. I really like the wine from there as well and I would just like to spend a couple of weeks on the beach, cooking for myself and my friends. It’s a dream. Maybe next year...
VCR | On a day when the restaurant is closed. What is your ideal morning?
DK | I’m usually up fairly early. I try to get as active as quickly as possible and get outside because during the work week I spend a lot of time in-doors. The beauty of being in Santa Cruz is that you can be at the beach, out on the water in different ways every day. Hiking, surfing, sailing - just being outdoors. On a day off I usually end up cooking with friends and relaxing outside in the summer. There are usually drinks on the porch, there’s always music, there are always friends. That sort of thing.
VCR | If you could do anything for a year, money is no object, what would you do?
DK | I would sail. Live a very simple life and just sail and be outdoors.
VCR | What do you love to pair coffee with?
DK | I usually make coffee in the morning for myself, then I stop at the Verve on the way out of town, or grab Verve at Manresa Bread in the afternoon. I think there’s a great pairing with chocolate or caramel but in terms of savory it’s hard to beat in the morning with bread. Some toasted leavened bread with some good butter and good jam goes very well with coffee.
VCR | What is your typical beverage?
DK | I drip through a flat bottom Kalita, or an aeropress. I go back and forth between the two with no milk. Then in the afternoon I’ll have a cappuccino or a Gibraltar, or if I’m not feeling the dairy I’ll have an Americano.
VCR | How did the relationship with Manresa Bread and Verve come about?
DK | I started the Manresa Bread partnership with our baker Avery Ruzicka, who worked at Manresa and lived in Santa Cruz, like myself. Of course, when Verve opened up Downtown we were there a lot because the quality of the coffee was there. I think Verve originally approached us at the bakery to see if doing pastries would be something we’d be interested in. It was a mutual respect between the two.
VCR | If you could break bread with any historical figure, who would it be?
DK | That’s a hard one. I get asked that a lot and I still don’t have an answer for it. Thomas Jefferson, that’s what I have. I just read a great biography about him and I found him to be very, very interesting. He was involved in the fundamental steps when the country was being formed and it amazes me how he had his fingers involved with everything. He wasn’t afraid to educate himself. He spoke many, many different languages. He was heavily into food and agriculture and he helped to set up the systems in the United States. I found him to be fascinating. I’m sure he’d be a great conversation.
We believe the coffee experience is our responsibility from seed to cup. Coffee is our craft, our ritual, our passion. It drives us and inspires us. With this simple truth and responsibility we are bridging the gap from farmlevel to streetlevel. We are verve. Made in santa cruz.