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.
The building that houses République is both timeless and unique. Built in 1928 by Charlie Chaplin and designed by architect Roy Sheldon Price, it was initially conceived as a mixed-use space -- with shops on the ground floor and office space above -- surrounding an idyllic tiled courtyard. It first became a restaurant in 1989, when Chefs Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton made extensive updates and opened the seminal La Brea Bakery and, six months, later Campanile.
Campanile closed in 2012, and the building was updated yet again to make way for République...though this time, the primary aim of the design was to strip layers away--down to the original brick, tile and ironwork--and return the space to the airy, open feel of the original construction.
Press & Media
Republique Sommelier Maria Garcia Is the Wikipedia of Wine
n a recent Sunday night at République, wine director Maria Garcia is working the floor, dressed casually in a white sweater bedecked with dinosaur illustrations. Well versed in fine-dining choreography from her years at Spago, she glides easily between diners in the crowded front room, carrying two glasses and a bottle of Loire Valley cabernet franc to a table where a shared plate of agnolotti with pancetta and English peas has just arrived.
5 Fancy Desserts from the Best Pastry Chefs in the Country
Pastry chef and co-owner of République Margarita Manzke is the person responsible for your little croissant habit. Yeah, you, ordering "one of each," we see you over at that display case. Oh wait, that's our reflection.
République’s new wine director is now one of the most influential Latina sommeliers in the country
Parsons and Garcia have fashioned a wine program that’s more ephemeral than literal. The physical wine list, the one presented at table, is a single page of about 75 wines. But this is just the tip of the iceberg; the rest of the wine selections loom in the cellar, more than 2,000 strong, off-list, which Garcia and her staff draw from depending on the menu, and on the guest and the timbre of engagement they’re looking for, and if needed, draw from the hidden trove stashed away.
République’s Adorable To-Go Window Is Now Open 7 Days a Week
And, because we all need some good news, République just announced that they’re opening their To-Go window on weekdays too, so you can get your canele fix every day, from 8 a.m.–3 p.m. (3). Right now the To-Go menu includes cold brew, drip coffee, tea, OJ, grapefruit juice, and pastries, but they’re planning to expand to include more options (including espresso-based drinks).
18 Amazing Women Rocking the LA Food Scene
Multi-tasking comes naturally to women. This couldn’t be more true for those women who work in professional kitchens, many overseeing restaurant and culinary empires, penning cookbooks, making TV appearances and balancing myriad award nominations — all while raising kids, running a household and keeping marriages intact. It’s just how they do.
An Interview With Walter Manzke Of République
There aren’t many veteran chefs I can think of that continue to carry such culinary magic and allure each year in the local food scene as Walter Manzke.
Five Restaurants Bound To Become L.A. Classics
In a season packed with openings, Angelenos have their pick of new and notable dining options. Here are five we’re betting have just what it takes to stand out from the L.A. crowd and the test of time.
LA Chef Walter Manzke’s République
Your abilities are a collection of ideas and tools. The more you have, the better you are as a person and the more you have to offer,
RÉPUBLIQUE REVIEW: FRENCH FOOD WORTHY OF A GLORIOUS SPACE
A young, brooding Marco Pierre White stares out over the bustling dining room of République. The huge black-and-white photo above the bar catches the legendary London chef at his most intense: cigarette dangling, brow heavy with genius. République chef Walter Manzke put the picture up just a few weeks ago, part joke, part homage. It adds a touch of anarchy to the otherwise dramatic, soaring, elegant space. But White's pensive gaze could be seen as a metaphor for the massively heavy history that weighs on this restaurant — the talent, the greatness, the love, the loss.
Restaurant review: Polished, modern République with maybe the best fries in L.A.
Are you looking for the best French fries in Los Angeles? Because the French fries at République are pretty close: cut in long, perfect blocks from fresh potatoes, steamed, slightly dehydrated in a low-temperature oven and then finally boiled in a bath of beef suet and peanut oil until they are tawny and crisp.
Travel and Leisure
T+L’s Best New Restaurants: 2015 Edition
Turn off Istanbul’s frenetic Istiklal Street, and pull up a seat at Yeni Lokanta, the modern meyhane of the moment. Chef Civan Er’s small plates feature heirloom Turkish foodstuffs like “burnt” Denizli yogurt atop green beans and beef ribs roasted in a wood-burning oven.
These are the Best New Restaurants in the World
In 11 of the world’s most compelling food capitals, neo-traditionalists, upstart iconoclasts, and ingredient obsessives are setting new culinary standards
When Nancy Silverton and Mark Peel opened Campanile in 1989, it was a signature made-in-L.A. occasion. - See more at: http://www.lamag.com/lafood/republique/#sthash.yKnQJazj.dpuf
Building a Blockbuster Restaurant, One Tile at a Time: The Story of République in LA
It took chef Walter Manzke and his kitchen crew eight hours to unload 5,000 tiles, 12,000 board feet...