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New Film Follows Manresa Chef & Crew From Los Gatos To France

Patch logo Patch 4/15/2020 Susan C. Schena
David Kinch posing for a photo: Clockwise from top left: Chef David Kinch; Manresa’s Rouget with Brioche and Shellfish “Tomato”; Manresa Pastry Chef Courtney Moisant and team; Manresa's Roasted Aged Duck with Five Vegetables. © Credit: “A Chef’s Voyage” Clockwise from top left: Chef David Kinch; Manresa’s Rouget with Brioche and Shellfish “Tomato”; Manresa Pastry Chef Courtney Moisant and team; Manresa's Roasted Aged Duck with Five Vegetables.

LOS GATOS, CA — "A Chef's Voyage," a new documentary that profiles award-winning Los Gatos Chef David Kinch and his Manresa restaurant team on a culinary adventure in France, made its premiere this month, but not in the manner expected.

When initially filmed, a traditional release was anticipated for the movie, according to producers. But since the coronavirus hit, with accompanying fallout of massive restaurant layoffs, the project now has a new mission: raising funds for unemployed food-service workers in need of assistance.

“Our film is a microcosm of the restaurant industry and the dedication, creativity and team relationships that make it so special. But right now, the restaurant industry and its workers are in crisis," said Mary Wagstaff, co-founder of Ojai-based Flapjack, a creative arm behind the "food entertainment" project.

"We saw an opportunity to release this film in a way that could benefit restaurant workers laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic," said Wagstaff, also president of public-relations agency Wagstaff Media & Marketing.

The film takes viewers behind the scenes as Emmy-award-winning Chef Kinch, plus his culinary superstars from Michelin-starred Manresa, prepare five dinner and four lunch events during a 10-day tour of venues in Paris, Provence and Marseille.

"It captures the fastidiousness we bring to our craft and the unending spirit of creative collaboration both within our Manresa family and in our work with our French compatriots," Kinch said. "For me, this film is a reminder of my raison d’être and motivation to keep moving forward and preparing to rebuild.

“Three years ago, when we closed Manresa to travel to France for ‘The Residency,’ there was no way to imagine the current state of our industry, resulting from this pandemic,” he added. “While it’s bittersweet to watch right now, this film offers a small glimpse into our Manresa team at that moment in time."

“A Chef’s Voyage” is available through early May on streaming platform SOMM TV with viewing-on-demand fees at $4.99 for a 72-hour rental. All rental proceeds will be donated to The LEE Initiative’s Restaurant Workers Relief Program, an effort launched in mid-March to aid employees suddenly faced with unemployment or drastically reduced hours and pay.

Akin to restaurants throughout California struggling to stay afloat, Manresa is offering takeout meals while its in-house dining is shuttered. Pick up is at the eatery at 320 Village Lane. See menu options here.

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