Chef Walter Manzke of Church & State - Biography

Los Angeles, CA.

October 2011

Walter Manzke grew up fluent in “seasonality,” with family gardens and orchards full of organic, seasonal vegetables and fruits populating his dinner table from day to day. This mentality, the now popularized farm-to-table restaurant ethos, is something Manzke learned as a kid and took with him everywhere he went.

But Manzke bravely abandoned the charm of his childhood gardens for the business world. With a degree in Business and Restaurant Management from San Diego Mesa College, Manzke moved on to work in some of the most renowned kitchens of Europe and America. Among them were Le Louis XV in the Hotel de Paris, Monte Carlo under Alain Ducasse, Spain’s famed high-tech training ground, el Bulli, under Ferran Adrià, and Patina in Los Angeles, where Manzke developed his signature style under the guidance of Joachim Splichal and earned the restaurant three stars from the Los Angeles Times.

A brief stint outside of Los Angeles saw Manzke opening three successful restaurants in Carmel: Bouchee, Cantinetta Luca, and L’Auberge Carmel, which was one of Gourmet’s Top Fifty Restaurants in America in 2006. Returning to LA, Manzke opened Bastide, where he earned yet another three stars from the LA Times. Since taking over the kitchen at Church + State, Manzke has continued to ply his craft and deserve his trail of stars, always with that early-ingrained, almost intuitive sense of seasonality.