TENTH ANNUAL - SAVE THE DATE – OCTOBER 2-25, 2020日本語
Born and raised in the Philippines, Margarita Manzke literally grew up in a kitchen, at the White Rock Resort, a hotel and restaurant owned and operated by her parents. She left the Philippines for London, to study in the pastry program at Le Cordon Bleu. Manzke then received her degree in Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America in New York.
Manzke moved to Los Angeles and worked in restaurants including the original Spago and Patina. At Patina, she met her future husband and business partner, Walter Manzke. In 2001, she left Patina to work at Josiah Citrin’s two-star Michelin restaurant, Mélisse, where she quickly rose to Sous Chef.
The couple was married in 2004 and opened a trio of restaurants in Carmel: Bouchée, Cantinetta Luca, and l’Auberge Carmel. Manzke oversaw all three as Executive Pastry Chef. She further refined her skills at the San Francisco Baking Institute. In 2007, the couple returned to Los Angeles to reopen Bastide Restaurant, where she served as Pastry Chef.
In the summer of 2012, the pair joined Manzke’s sister Ana to open Wildflour Bakery and Café in Manila. Since opening, the trio has received rave reviews for the casual yet professional service, top-quality ingredients and whimsical pastry offerings. In the next three years, they opened four additional locations, including The Farmacy, a soda fountain and ice cream parlor.
Meanwhile, back in Los Angeles, the Manzke’s launched République in December 2013. Margarita oversees our Pastry Department. She has received a James Beard Nomination for Outstanding Pastry Chef, glowing reviews from critics, and numerous appearances on ‘Best-of’ lists.
WHY DID YOU BECOME A CHEF?
I grew up around food my whole life. My family was in the restaurant industry in the Philippines. My sister went to culinary school in London, and I ended up following her. Then I eventually went to culinary school in New York.
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COOKING IN THREE WORDS?
Simple, straightforward, balanced.
WHAT’S THE BEST HONOR YOU’VE RECEIVED AS A CHEF?
The best honor I have received is being given the opportunity to not only cook for other chefs that I look up to and aspire to be like, but to also serve our customers everyday. It is an honor to say that I can cook and serve all of the guests that walk through the doors of the restaurant.
WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO MEAL AFTER A BUSY DAY?
HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN THE KITCHEN?
Being at home with the kids.
WHAT THE ONE LOCAL INGREDIENT YOU’RE EXCITED TO COOK WITH DURING HFWF19?
There are so many from coconut to pineapple and spam. How can I choose?
WHAT KEEPS YOU RETURNING BACK TO THE ISLANDS?
Cooking with other chefs at the food festival and spam musubis.
IF YOU WERE NOT A CHEF, WHAT WOULD YOU BE AND WHY?
I cannot imagine not being a chef.