Rising Star Chef Aaron Verzosa of Archipelago - Biography

Seattle, WA

January 2020

It’s not every night that your dinner features 10 courses of locally sourced ingredients, stories that shape the Filipino-American identity, and tinikling (flipino folk dancing). But at Archipelago, husband-and-wife team Amber Manuguid and Aaron Verzosa provide that exact experience, educating diners about their heritage, with a touch of theatrical, hospitality-forward whimsy. 

Verzosa and Manuguid are both from the Pacific Northwest and are second generation Americans. A self-described “Food Network kid,” Verzosa was born and raised in Vancouver, Washington, surrounded by his large Filipino family. He joined Manuguid at the University of Washington, studying linguistics and pre-med. Unsatisfied, Verzosa decided to enroll at the Seattle Culinary Institute. Meanwhile, he cooked at Spanish eatery The Harvest Vine. In 2010, Verzosa became an R&D chef for Nathan Myhrvold’s publishing company responsible for Modernist Cuisine and Modernist Bread, and had the opportunity to stage with Chef David Toutain in Paris. Verzosa is the founder of ILAW, a coalition of Filipino food and beverage professionals in the Pacific Northwest. 

Throughout Manuguid and Verzosa’s careers, they had always discussed opening a restaurant. Archipelago opened in December 2018, challenging, reshaping, and adding plenty excitement to fine dining in Seattle.