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Walter Manzke grew up in San Diego surrounded by freshly-grown fruits and vegetables from his family’s backyard. Patina’s Joachim Splichal brought him to Los Angeles and exposed him to the world of fine-dining. He became sous chef at Splichal’s Pinot Bistro before departing on a two-year sabbatical in Europe, culminating in a one-year stint with Alain Ducasse at his storied Louis XV, in Monaco.
He returned to LA for five years as Patina’s Chef de Cuisine, receiving his first three-star review from the Los Angeles Times. He then left for Carmel with his wife and fellow chef Margarita and had success with three critically-acclaimed restaurants: Bouchee, Cantinetta Luca, and L’Auberge Carmel.
Upon returning to LA, in 2006, Walter was the Chef of the revamped Bastide, where he received his second three-star Times review. He then moved to Church & State and received another three-star review and a ‘Rising Star’ award from StarChefs.
In mid-2013, Walter opened Petty Cash on Beverly Boulevard, a taqueria using the highest-quality ingredients and informed by the culinary traditions of Baja, central Mexico and even East LA. In 2015, he expanded to a second location in Downtown LA’s Arts District.
Walter and Margarita also opened, Wildflour – a bakery & cafe, a joint project with Margarita’s sister, Ana – which has flourished, expanding to five locations. Earlier this year, they opened the Farmacy, a soda fountain and ice cream store, and have two more locations slated to open in the next 12 months. In early 2015, the group was awarded the ‘Restaurateurs of the Year’ award by Esquire Philippines.
Walter and Margarita opened REPUBLIQUE in November 2013 in partnership with restaurateur Bill Chait. Since then, the restaurant has appeared on many ‘best-of’ lists and was awarded Los Angeles Magazine’s ‘Best New Restaurant’ for 2014.