Growing up as a child in San Diego, Walter Manzke learned the ways of seasonal cuisine and sustainability at a young age. The family table was filled with organic, farm-fresh vegetables and fruits from the vast orchards and gardens surrounding his home. This seasonable, sustainable approach to eating, now popularized in the farm-to-table ethos, is a way of thought that Manzke has carried with him throughout his culinary career. At 20, Manzke decided to attend San Diego Mesa College. In 1992, Manzke graduated with a degree in Business and Restaurant Management. Upon completing college, Manzke moved to Los Angeles to work with Joachim Splichal, where he began to develop his signature style. After two and a half years, and a drive to continue his culinary education, Manzke departed Los Angeles to work in some of the most renowned kitchens in Europe, including Alain Ducasse in Monte Carlo and El Bulli in Spain.
In 1996, Manzke returned to Los Angeles where he spent another six and a half years at Patina. During his time at Patina as Executive Chef, Manzke earned a number of accolades, including a three-star review from the Los Angeles Times. Manzke left Los Angeles in 2002 to open three successful restaurants in Carmel: Bouchee, Cantinetta Luca and L’Auberge Carmel. At L’Auberge Carmel, Manzke garnered a number of accolades including being selected as one of Robb Report’s “Best New Dining Destinations,” Bon Appétit magazine’s “Best of the Year” and one of Gourmet magazine’s “Top Fifty Restaurants in America.” Manzke returned to Los Angeles in 2007 to take the helm at the highly anticipated re-opening of Bastide Restaurant. His unique recipes and attention to detail once again set the standard in the city. During his time at Bastide, Manzke earned a three-star review from the Los Angeles Times while continuing to refine his cuisine. In 2009, Manzke joined the team at Church and State, where he earned his third three-star review from the Los Angeles Times and was named a “Rising Star” by Star Chefs.
In the summer of 2012, Manzke, together with his wife Margarita and his sister-in-law, opened Wildflour bakery and café in a recently reinvigorated section of Manila, Philippines. Since opening, Manzke has received rave reviews for both his classic cuisine and whimsical offerings. In 2013, Manzke opened a second location of Wildflour in Manila as well as Petty Cash taqueria on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles. In addition to Republique’s staggered opening throughout 2013 and 2014, Manzke will be opening a third location of Wildflour in Manila in 2014.
At République, Manzke aims to bring the best produce and local ingredients to diners in a relaxed yet refined environment. When not in the restaurant, Manzke enjoys traveling with his wife, Margarita Manzke, and his young son Nicolas.
Born and raised in the Philippines, Margarita Manzke spent her early years working in her parent’s restaurant. Inspired by their hard work and perseverance, Margarita decided at a young age to follow in their footsteps and enter the culinary world. At 20, Margarita left the Philippines for London, where she studied culinary arts, specifically pastry, at Le Cordon Bleu. With a drive to further her education, Margarita crossed the Atlantic and enrolled in The Culinary Institute of America in New York, where she received an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts. Upon graduation, Margarita moved to Los Angeles where she worked in some of the city’s best restaurants, including the original Spago on Sunset Boulevard and Patina on Melrose. It was at Patina that she met her future husband, Walter. In 2001, Margarita left Patina to work with Josiah Citrin at his Michelin two-star restaurant, Melisse, where she quickly rose to the position of Sous Chef.
In search of a new challenge, Margarita and Walter Manzke moved to Carmel to open a series of successful restaurants including Bouchee, Cantinetta Luca and L’Auberge Carmel. It was there that Margarita came into her own, overseeing all three restaurants as the Executive Pastry Chef while also transforming the bread programs at each. Wanting to expand her culinary repertoire even further, Margarita attended The San Francisco Baking Institute. In Carmel, Margarita seized the opportunity to travel to Europe and Asia by participating in a number of renowned culinary events including the World Gourmet Festival in Thailand and the Rhiengau Food and Wine Festival in Germany. In 2007, Margarita returned to Los Angeles with Walter to reopen Bastide Restaurant, where she served as Pastry Chef. Wanting to expand her repertoire, Margarita joined the team at Jin Patisserie to gain invaluable front of house experience. From there, she worked with the team at Church & State before finally returning to the kitchen and the pastry department at Bottega Louie.
In the summer of 2012, along with her sister and husband Walter, she opened Wildflour bakery and café in a recently reinvigorated section of Manila, Philippines. Since opening, the trio has received rave reviews for the classic cuisine and whimsical offerings. In 2013, the Manzke’s opened a second location of Wildlfour in Manila. In addition to Republique’s staggered opening throughout 2013 and 2014, Margarita will be opening a third location of Wildflour in Manila in 2014.
At République, Margarita will showcase her global experiences with a selection of perfect pastries and artisanal breads.
A native Angeleno, Bill Chait has been involved in the restaurant industry for more than 25 years during which time he has developed and operated several successful restaurant concepts. Bill is the founder of a multi-unit restaurant operation, Louise’s Trattoria, with locations in Southern California, Wisconsin, Washington DC and Maryland. Chait’s other restaurant concepts have included Angel City Grill, The Beverly Restaurant and Market and Louise’s Italian Kitchen. In 2010, he created the nationally acclaimed LA pop-up restaurant Test Kitchen, which pioneered an exciting new concept in dining featuring world renowned guest chefs and budding culinary talent. The Test Kitchen “Townhouse” on Pico is now home to Picca and Sotto restaurants and a culinary outpost on the west side.
Bill is currently Director and Vice Chairman of LT Acquisition Corp., Principal of Spark Restaurants LLC and the Managing Partner of Sprout LA. He’s also Principal and Managing Partner for Rivera with Chef John Sedlar, Sotto with Chefs Steve Samson and Zach Pollack, Picca with Chef Ricardo Zarate, Short Order and Short Cake with Nancy Silverton and the late Amy Pressman, Bestia with Chef Ori Menashe, Petty Cash and the soon to be Republique with Walter Manzke, as well as upcoming projects Vibiana and Redbird with Amy Knoll Fraser and Chef Neal Fraser. Chait and his restaurants have been featured in countless publications including, most recently, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Nation’s Restaurant News, Sunset Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine and Bloomberg Financial.