Chef Bob Kinkead of Kinkead's - Biography

Washington , DC

September 2010

Bob Kinkead is a self-trained chef who came to the profession in the midst of earning his 4-year bachelor’s in psychology—not exactly the most kitchen-ready discipline. But Kinkead worked in several restaurants in New England both during and after his schooling. Restaurants like Nantucket’s 21 Federal and Cambridge’s The Harvest gave Kinkead a decisive taste of fine dining that helped him realize the kitchen—and not the psychologist’s armchair—would prove his professional home base.

New England, on the other hand, was merely the stepping off point for the chef, although an important one. With early accolades all indicating serious promise—including placement on Food & Wine’s Honor Roll of Sixty of the Nation’s Most Promising Culinary Talents (precursor to James Beard’s “Who’s Who of Culinary America”)—Kinkead was ready to test his talents elsewhere. In 1987 he was chef and partner at Twenty-One Federal in the nation’s Capital, and only six years later he opened his own restaurant, Kinkead’s, an American style brasserie featuring fresh seafood among its reworked brasserie fare.

The chef’s cuisine is often characterized as modern American, but Kinkead isn’t restricted by regional boundaries. His signature dishes incorporate elements from places like Spain, France, and Portugal. He adapts techniques and flavor profiles from around the world to American ingredients and tastes, resulting in light, yet intense and full-flavored cuisine. And his work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Kinkead was named “Best Mid-Atlantic Chef” by the James Beard Foundation and in 1993, his restaurant was selected as one of the 25 best new restaurants in America by Esquire Magazine. His recent cookbook, Kinkead’s Cookbook, the chef brings his decades of experience to the fore. Chef Kinkead does maintain some roots to his New England heritage, and his family. Sibling Rivalry is the Boston-based restaurant Kinkead shares with his brother, David, and with a menu that actually harmoniously features the cuisine of both chefs.