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Chef Walter Manzke with Sophie Gayot and chef Mark Peel (left)
Chef Walter Manzke with Sophie Gayot and chef Mark Peel (left)

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?”

Manzke, who had just arrived from Chicago that morning, replied “No. I am just going there one week a month to help the Melman brothers with the reopening of Brasserie Jo.”

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 exclusive. Walter Manzke will return to cooking in Los AngelesCulver 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!

Le Saint Amour on Urbanspoon


  1. […] already tested a who’s who of top toques, including Top Chef winner season 6 Michael Voltaggio; Walter Manzke, who is back at the stoves at Saint Amour in Culver City while planning to open his own restaurant; […]

    Pingback by GAYOT’s Blog Testing Out the Test Kitchen — September 16, 2010 @ 12:46 pm

  2. […] — or could — be duplicated. A recent visit confirmed my thoughts. After a great debut by former chef Walter Manzke, the flame had been kept alive. Jeremy Berlin took over, and it was all good. Watch my exclusive […]

    Pingback by Church & State restaurant, Los Angeles — January 14, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

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