Filipina Chef Wins James Beard’s Best Pastry Chef Of 2023

It’s been said that if you want to be successful in business, you should do what you love. Just like many successful bakers, Margarita Lorenzana-Manzke also pursued her passion for baking. With continuous learning and hard work, she achieved her dream of making amazing desserts. Even better, her dream paved the way for her to win a prestigious award.

Filipina Chef Wins James Beard’s Best Pastry Chef Of 2023
Image by Republique Cafe via Instagram

Margarita is the winner of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker 2023, considered the biggest honor in the food industry. She is also the co-owner of four restaurants in Los Angeles: République, Wildflour, Sari-Sari Store, and Petty Cash Taqueria.

Margarita was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to New York to study at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in 1998. She met her husband, Chef Walter Manzke, while working at Patina Restaurant in Los Angeles. They decided to open their own restaurant, République, in 2013.

According to an article in Philstar, Margarita, or Margie, grew up in a family of food entrepreneurs. She started learning to cook at seven years old and would make chocolate treats to sell during the summers.

Margarita has been nominated for the James Beard Award since 2017, but this year she finally won it. She beat another Filipino chef from California, Vince Bugtong of Abacá, a Filipino restaurant in San Francisco. She wasn’t there to accept her award because she had to go back to Asia for some personal reasons.

Margarita is one of the few Filipino chefs who have won a James Beard Award. Tim Flores and Genie Kwon of Kasama, a Filipino restaurant in Chicago that has a Michelin star, won Best Chef: Great Lakes. Celebrity chef Erwan Heussaff also won for Social Media Account.

Margarita is a role model for anyone who wants to be a pastry chef or baker. She shows that you can follow your passion and build a lucrative business at the same time. So, if you’re looking for a sign to start your dream business, this could be it! Good luck!

Sally Mae

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