My partner, David Kinch, and I don’t take normal vacations. Our time off revolves around food, even on trips dedicated to other activities. A surfing excursion in Mexico, for instance, became an exploration of the best taquerias along the Baja peninsula, and a ski weekend at a condo in Lake Tahoe, California, turned into an excuse for weeks of menu planning.
Before I say more about Tahoe, let me tell you who we are. David is the chef and owner of Manresa in Los Gatos, California, about an hour’s drive south of San Francisco. Critics have called it one of the country’s most innovative restaurants, and the San Francisco Chronicle’s Michael Bauer has praised David’s brilliance at creating unlikely pairings, like foie gras and broccoli. My favorite Manresa dish is ultratender abalone, served with brown butter and, more unconventionally, crispy pig’s trotters. David’s latest passion is farming: He recently invested in Love Apple Farm in California’s Santa Cruz County and now gets the bulk of the restaurant’s magnificent produce from it.
As for me, my name is Pim—just Pim, because I’ve grown tired of people butchering my multisyllabic Thai last name. I write a food blog called Chez Pim, chronicling my culinary adventures from street stalls around Southeast Asia to my longtime favorite Michelin three-star, L’Arpège in Paris. I also cook a mean pot of curry.