After being nominated for eight years running, Filipina pastry chef Margarita Manzke is finally a James Beard Award winner.
The Philippines-born-and-raised chef, who co-owns République LA with husband Walter Manzke, bagged the Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker award, besting four other nominees in the category, including fellow Filipino Vince Bugtong of the San Francisco-based ABACA restaurant.
Back in her hometown of Manila, Margarita and her husband are also founding owners of the widely successful Wildflour Café + Bakery chain, where her sister Ana de Ocampo serves as its president and CEO.
“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 signature French baguette was mastered,” the Republique website writes.
“In addition to her other restaurants, Manzke is well known for her Sari Sari Store in the historic Grand Central Market, which brings a fresh take on the Filipino food of her upbringing to Downtown Los Angeles,” it adds.
The James Beard Awards is considered the “Oscars of the food world.”
On Sunday, French-Filipino content creator and restaurateur Erwan Heussaff bagged a James Beard Broadcast and Media Award for the Social Account category for his Manila-based channel, FEATR.