“A microcosm of the restaurant industry and the dedication, creativity and team relationships that make it so special.”
- Mary Wagstaff
Chef David Kinch and his team journey from their 3 Star Michelin restaurant, Manresa, in California for a one of a kind “four hands” collaboration with three legendary chefs at their iconic restaurants in Paris, Provence, and Marseille.
The film opens in Los Gatos, California, as Kinch and the Manresa team close the famous restaurant for a month so that they can travel to France to celebrate their fifteenth anniversary. Planning the trip has been going on for months. In order to represent the refined Californian cuisine of Kinch in France, the team must bring some of the characteristic ingredients of Manresa, such as seasonings, sauces that take days to make and Pacific seafood such as dried abalone.
But the logistics are tricky and they worry about whether they can get all the food through airport security and customs. Each kitchen staff member is responsible for packing up certain items in their suitcases, so Kinch tells them to leave out personal items so they have more space. “Pack underwear and abalone,” he quips. The stakes are high and, as Kinch says, “Everything could go wrong.”
The crew takes off as soon as they arrive in France to cook alongside chefs and teams from three of the country’s best starred restaurants: Le Taillevent, L’Oustau de Baumanière and Le Petit Nice. Even for Kinch’s well-oiled team, it’s difficult to navigate their host kitchens and represent Californian gourmet cuisine on Michelin’s “home turf” while jetlagged, on an aggressive schedule and with a language barrier just to start with.
“Since the coronavirus hit,
the project now has a new mission:
raising funds for unemployed food-service workers.”
It’s a fascinating look behind the scenes of the inner workings of one of the top restaurants in America – and, it’s a visit to the heart of bucolic Provence, the animation of Paris and the magnificent coast of Marseille.
We accompany the team in unknown kitchens, joking with its French counterparts wearing toques, consult Yelp to find out which restaurants in Paris are open until well after midnight – and celebrate the 15 years of Manresa excellence by doing what Chef Kinch and his team do best: creating meals and experiences worthy of those three stars.