Manresa has long been a gem in Los Gatos, garnering high praise, two Michelin stars for five straight years and becoming a foodie haven for those in the South Bay.

Now, Chef-Proprietor David Kinch has been named GQ’s Chef of the Year for 2011.

The magazine calls him a “culinary Mad Hatter seeking the essence of things.” His peers and former colleagues knew he was going to be a star, which has happened after taking over at Los Gatos in 2002. He collects James Beard Awards and defeated Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America, all while keeping hungry patrons happy at Manresa.

His “laboratory,” Love Apple Farms in the Santa Cruz Mountains, is the source of almost all the produce he uses in his restaurant.

His style is innovative and can’t be labeled (although some try, calling it New Californian, French or Catalan). But in layman’s term he is a true maestro in the kitchen. It’s a dining experience to never forget and one that is hard to fully grasp.

Congratulations to one of the innovators in the Bay Area, Chef David Kinch.