CHEFS WALTER & MARGARITA MANZKE
A Southern California native, Walter Manzke began his fine dining career in Los Angeles working alongside esteemed Chef Joachin Splichal of Patina, and from there traveled around the world working with renowned chefs Ferran Adrià and Alain Ducasse. After a few years in the Bay area opening successful Relais & Chateaux properties, he returned to Los Angeles making his mark on the city as Chef of Bastide and moved on to then take over the kitchen at Church & State.
Chef Walter has several restaurants to his name. Domestically, he and his team have opened critically acclaimed Los Angeles concepts including Petty Cash Taqueria, Sari Sari Store, & République. Working alongside his wife and business partner Margarita Manzke, they have opened sixteen Wildflour Bakeries in the Philippines.
In one of the most anticipated restaurant debuts for Los Angeles, Chef Walter sought to further his passion for Parisian cuisine with Bicyclette Bistro, which opened in 2021. The following year, Manzke Restaurant—a tasting menu concept and his most ambitious project to date—opened upstairs.
Regarded as an “unassailable cornerstone of Los Angeles dining” by Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic Bill Addison, Chef Walter’s restaurants have pushed him to the forefront of contemporary French cuisine, earning him recognition from the James Beard Foundation, The Los Angeles Times, and journalists from across the globe.
Born and raised in the Philippines, Margarita Manzke entered the Los Angeles scene working at some of the city’s most celebrated restaurants, including Patina, Spago, and Mélisse. In the early 2000s, she and her husband Walter moved to Carmel, opening critically acclaimed dining concepts Bouchée, Cantinetta Luca and l’Auberge Carmel, which is where her love for creating her signature French baguette was mastered. Manzke eventually returned to Los Angeles as Pastry Chef of Bastide Restaurant, and, in the years to come, opened several award-winning concepts in Los Angeles including Petty Cash Taqueria, Sari Sari Store, and République.
Manzke pushed the boundaries of her craft at République, introducing her own distinctive techniques and flavors into her creations. As a result of her inspired work at République, Manzke has been nominated for the James Beard Awards Outstanding Pastry Chef category for eight consecutive years running. République has continued to make its mark on the culinary landscape of Los Angeles, securing a spot on the Los Angeles Times “101 Best” List for years and being one of Restaurant Critic Bill Addison’s most recommended LA restaurants to both friends and readers.
In addition to her other restaurants, Manzke is well known for her Sari Sari Store in the historic Grand Central Market, bringing a fresh take on the Filipino food of her upbringing to Downtown Los Angeles. Internationally, her reach includes sixteen Wildflour Bakery and Cafés in the Philippines. In 2021 she and Chef Walter opened Bicyclette Bistro in Beverly Hills, which celebrates traditional Parisian bistro cuisine through the lens of hyper-seasonal California ingredients. Their latest venture upstairs—simply called ‘Manzke’—takes her storied career to the next level in the form of a refined tasting menu concept, which opened in March of 2022.
The building that houses République is both timeless and unique. Built in 1928 by Charlie Chaplin and designed by architect Roy Seldon 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.