David Kinch was wise to situate his gem of a restaurant in this lovely historic town. First of all, the temperate weather invites visitors in all seasons. Secondly, this Mediterranean climate provides for the farming, fishing and production of a vast selection of exquisite vegetables, fruits, wines, fish, seafood and cheeses within a fifty-mile radius, allowing Kinch to offer true farm to table food, for which the restaurant is justly famous. Also, Los Gatos is home to a host of Silicon Valley millionaires who can afford Manresa’s very steep prices. However, since Manresa earned its third Michelin Star, gourmet food lovers from all over the world are willing to make the journey to a town fifty miles south of San Francisco to experience some of the best food they will ever eat.
Another old Manresa favorite, which I believe has never left the menu, is Kinch’s brilliant “Into the Vegetable Garden Salad,” complete with edible flowers and even edible “dirt,” composed of a mysterious variety of roots and grains. The contents of this salad are entirely dependent on the baby vegetables, herbs and greens that are at their peak on the day the salad will be served. I have eaten Into the Garden Salads that contained miniscule carrots, turnips, tomatoes, tiny potatoes, and all sorts of interesting herbs, lettuces and flowers, and each composition was uniquely and seasonally delicious.
David Kinch was inspired by Alain Passard, chef of the three Michelin-starred restaurant L’Arpege in Paris, who elevated this simple poached farm egg into a genuine work of art. While this recipe cannot give you a world-class chef’s sensitivity to aesthetic detail and the nuances of taste, texture, temperature, technique and presentation, it will help you make an astonishingly tasty poached egg, actually six poached eggs, to share with your friends and loved ones. You will need a metal egg rack and a special tool to cut off the tops of the egg shells. We found ours at Williams Sonoma.
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- a sprinkle of sea salt (to taste)
- 6 large eggs at room temperature
- 3 teaspoons fresh chives, finely minced
- Pinches of:
- black pepper, freshly ground
- ground clove
- ground cinnamon
- ground ginger
- 3 teaspoons pure maple syrup
Special equipment: small bowl, medium sized mixing bowl, whip or hand-held electric mixer, rubber spatula, tablespoon, kitchen knife, measuring spoons, large shallow cooking pot, metal egg rack, tool for cutting egg shells, 6 egg cups, kitchen towel or paper towels, teaspoon, 6 small plates and miniature spoons for serving.
Servings: 6 as a small appetizer
- Chill the mixing bowl, whip or beaters in the freezer until they are very cold. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold in one teaspoon of sherry vinegar gently with a rubber spatula. Place the eggs in a metal egg rack. Use an egg shell cutting tool to remove the top, or tapered end of each egg. Carefully pour the egg white out of each shell into a small bowl, holding the yolk back with the top of the shell or a tablespoon. Save the egg whites for another use. Replace the shells with the egg yolks into the rack.
- Sprinkle small pinches of each of the four spices and the minced chives onto each egg yolk. Bring about an inch of water to a simmer in a large shallow pan. Place the eggs in the rack into the simmering water just until the yolks start to set around the edges, about 3 minutes.
- Remove the egg shells from the water, dry them carefully, and place them in egg cups. Spoon the whipped cream mixture over the yolks, just up to the rim of the shell. Drizzle each egg with approximately ½ teaspoon of maple syrup. To serve, place each egg cup on a small serving plate with a miniature spoon.