As I was speaking with chef Walter Manzke last Friday at Taste of Beverly Hills, chef Mark Peel of Campanile and The Tar Pit, came over and asked the former Church & State chef directly, “Are you moving to Chicago?”
Peel replied, “Good, because we want you to stay in Los Angeles,” quite a compliment coming from such a long-time celebrity LA chef. That’s all the information Peel got.
But I got more, much more, in what I believe is a GAYOT.com exclusive. Walter Manzke will return to cooking in Los Angeles—Culver City, to be precise—as of tonight.
How did this happen? Florence Herve-Commereuc, co-owner of the bistro Saint-Amour with her husband Bruno, needed a chef. She called Walter Manzke (why not?) and he simply said yes. Perhaps it was due to his passion for French bistro cooking as he had demonstrated so well at Church & State. (Honestly, who wanted to drive all the way to the middle of nowhere downtown Los Angeles unless it was for Manzke’s cuisine?) He put Church & State on the Los Angeles culinary map.
Mark Peel will be happy to learn that Manzke is staying in town, as we all are. Manzke and his wife Marge, a pastry chef, love Los Angeles too much to leave. He is still working on opening his own place in the City of the Angels, but until then, Saint Amour is where you will be able to savor his food. Welcome back, Walter!