Walter Manzke’s love of food began as a child growing up in San Diego surrounded by fruits and vegetables from his family’s backyard. This seasonable, sustainable approach has stuck with Manzke throughout his career. In 1992 Manzke graduated from San Diego Mesa College with a degree in Business and Restaurant Management.
Upon graduation, Manzke moved to Los Angeles to work with Joachim Splichal, where he began to develop his signature style. After two and a half years, Manzke left Los Angeles to work in some of the most renowned kitchens in Europe, including Alain Ducasse and El Bulli. In 1996, Manzke returned to Los Angeles and spent six and a half years at Patina where he received a three-star review from the Los Angeles Times and met his future wife Margarita. He earned his third three-star review from the Los Angeles Times and was named a “Rising Star” by Star Chefs. Church & State enabled Manzke and Margarita – who was the restaurant’s Pastry Chef – to further hone their shared vision for the restaurant they wanted to open together. République opened its doors in December of 2013 and since has appeared on many ‘best-of’ lists, and was awarded Los Angeles Magazine’s ‘Best New Restaurant’ for 2014. In the summer of 2012, Manzke, Margarita and his sister-in-law, opened Wildflour bakery and café in a recently reinvigorated section of Manila, Philippines. In 2013, Manzke opened a second location of Wildflour as well as Petty Cash Taqueria on Beverly Blvd. In 2015, Manzke opened a third location of Wildflour.
Margarita Manzke Margarita’s love affair with food and restaurants began early: born and raised in the Philippines, she grew up in a kitchen at the White Rock Resort, a hotel and restaurant just outside Manila owned and operated by her parents. After studying pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in London, Margarita enrolled in The Culinary Institute of America in New York, where she received her degree in Culinary Arts.
Upon graduation Margarita moved to Los Angeles, and worked in some of the city’s most celebrated restaurants, including Spago and Patina, where she met her future husband and business partner, Walter Manzke. In 2001, she left Patina to work with Josiah Citrin at his two-star Michelin restaurant, Mélisse, where she quickly rose to the position of Sous Chef.,,In search of new challenges, Manzke and Margarita moved north to Carmel in 2004, where they opened a trio highly successful restaurants: Bouchée, Cantinetta Luca and l’Auberge Carmel. In 2007, Margarita and Walter returned to Los Angeles to reopen Bastide Restaurant, where she served as Pastry Chef. They had already begun to conceptualize the restaurant that would eventually become République, which opened its doors in December 2013. At République, Margarita oversees the Pastry Department, bakes the wildly popular breads, and is largely responsible for the success of the daytime Café. In 2017, Margarita and Walter opened Sari Sari Store, a Filipino Rice Bowl Stall, in Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.