While growing up in San Diego, California, Stephanie Prida saw herself pursuing a career as an artist. Because creating a great dish is an art in itself, it was no surprise that Prida was drawn to the culinary world at an early age and decided to shift her career path to combine the two.
After receiving an Associate Degree from the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, Prida focused on her love of pastry, accepting an internship as Pastry Cook at The Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas. She further honed her skills as Pastry Cook at RM Seafood and Tableau, both in Las Vegas, and later at Georges at the Cove Restaurant in La Jolla, California. Her desire to learn more about food on a global scale led her to Italy for four months, working in the kitchen at Nogarazza in Vicenza, Italy.
Later, an opportunity to spearhead the pastry program at One Sixty Blue Restaurant drew Prida to Chicago where she began to make a name for herself. As Pastry Sous Chef at Blackbird in Chicago, she was recognized for her talent, earning the Jean Banchet "Rising Pastry Chef" award in 2009. Shortly after, Prida set her sights on running a larger pastry program, accepting the position of Pastry Chef at the Elysian Hotel in Chicago. In this role, Prida oversaw the pastry and bread program for RIA, the hotel’s two Michelin star restaurant, and Balsan Restaurant as well as in-house dining and events. She developed a reputation for her talent and her desserts received cult status, including her Paris-Brest, made of choux pastry and cream. When she later accepted the role of Pastry Chef for the Michelin starred L2o Restaurant, local media mourned the loss of her acclaimed dessert.
After nearly four years in Chicago, the California native was drawn back to the West Coast, joining the team at Manresa as Pastry Chef. “I love the fact that the restaurant truly lives off the land of California,” says Prida. “The style, food and environment are so unique – you can’t help but be inspired here.” Since joining the team in 2012, Prida was named “The People’s Best New Pastry Chef” by Food & Wine magazine, “Best Pastry Chef of the Year” by San Francisco magazine and a StarChefs.com “Rising Star Chef.”
When Prida is not creating in the kitchen, she can be found painting and spending as much time outdoors as possible. She also enjoys hiking and traveling.
Manresa is the showcase for the inventive cuisine of Chef-Proprietor David Kinch. Chef Kinch and the Manresa team find inspiration from European traditions and refinement, American ingenuity and the vast bounty that California has to offer.
Our goal is to deliver an ambiance, service and cuisine that speaks of who we are and where we are located, the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains on the wild Central Coast of California. The Manresa menu changes frequently to highlight the best products grown using biodynamic practices from Love Apple Farms in nearby Santa Cruz, with which we have an exclusive partnership. By sourcing our own produce by sustainable methods, we hope to create a closed circle between guests, the farm, and Kinch's highly personal haute cuisine.
The kitchen works hard to individually select the best of all products, and to create a menu that best takes advantage of the designs and whims of nature and the seasons. Guests put their trust in Kinch’s hands for a truly memorable tasting menu, Seasonal and Spontaneous, with optional wine pairings.