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Meet the Makers
WILD FLOUR BAKERY + CAFÉ CORP.’s small but tight-knit group of founders continues to be its management team even more than 8 years later, with an unparalleled eye for detail and an untiring hands-on approach to leadership that allows the company to be at the top of its game at all times and allows it to conquer any challenge thrown its way. Between them more than 100 years’ worth of experience and education from the finest culinary institutions and restaurants around the globe, and multiple personal honors and awards to their names, Wildflour’s top-notch and highly skilled management team know how to make great food and run successful restaurant businesses better than almost anyone, locally or internationally.
Ana Lorenzana de Ocampo
CEO & President
Ana Marie Lorenzana de Ocampo is one of the founders behind the Wildflour group of restaurants, and has remained Wild Flour Bakery + Café Corp’s President since its inception. Ana finished at the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration, then went on to study at the Le Cordon Bleu School in London where she earned her degree in culinary arts. In 2012, Ana and her sister Margarita Manzke, founded the first Wildflour Café + Bakery in the then up-and-coming Bonifacio Global City, and that single corner café has since evolved into one of the most successful restaurant groups in Metro Manila, with a well-known brand of quality and service that stands at the forefront of the Philippine restaurant scene. The Wildflour group has amassed several brands, which includes Little Flour, Wildflour Italian, Pink’s and Farmacy Ice Cream across 15 prime locations and counting, all go-to destinations in Metro Manila’s business districts, with an extremely relevant online presence and rapidly expanding delivery service, and is poised for continuous growth.
Margarita Lorenzana-Manzke is a multi-awarded pastry chef and entrepreneur. She was born and raised in the Philippines, then enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in New York where she earned her degree in Culinary Arts in 1998. Margarita then moved to Los Angeles, California and worked in the city’s most celebrated restaurants, including Spago and Patina, where she met her future husband and business partner, Walter. Widely recognized for her pastry prowess, she was awarded by LA Weekly as “Best Pastry Chef” in 2014 for her work at her own restaurant République, and also has been a finalist in the James Beard Awards (also known as the Oscars of the food world) for four consecutive years from 2017-2020 in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category. Margarita’s one-of-a-kind recipes are further immortalized in her very own cookbook, launched in 2020, Baking at Republique, available both in the restaurant and through multiple online and offline bookstores.
Walter Manzke is a three Michelin-star chef and entrepreneur. He grew up in San Diego, CA, where he graduated in 1992 with a degree in Business and Restaurant Management from Mesa College. After graduating, Walter moved to Los Angeles to work with Joachim Splichal in his now-defunct Pinot Bistro, where he began to develop his signature style. Walter soon left L.A. to work in some of the most renowned kitchens in Europe, including three Michelin-star Alain Ducasse and El Bulli. In 1996, Manzke returned to Los Angeles and spent six-and-a-half years at Patina where he received a three-star review from the Los Angeles Times and met his future wife Margarita.
In 2012, together with Margarita’s sister Ana, the Manzke couple opened the first branch of Wildflour Café + Bakery in Manila, and continue to act as managing partners and strategic advisors to the rapidly growing Philippine restaurant business. The couple also soon after opened their own French-leaning restaurant République in December 2013 along South La Brea Avenue In L.A., which has grown to become one of the most visited and acclaimed food destinations in the area, awarded Los Angeles Magazine’s “Best New Restaurant of 2014” and The Los Angeles Times’ 2nd best restaurant of 2019 among a list of 101 other restaurants, aside from receiving glowing reviews from multiple recognized publications. Expanding their concept repertoire beyond their flagship République, Walter also opened the semi-authentic Mexican-style Petty Cash Taqueria in Beverly in L.A. In 2017, Margarita and Walter opened Sari Sari Store, a Filipino rice bowl stall, in Grand Central Market in Downtown L.A., and in 2020 launched Bicyclette, another Bistro in the Los Angeles area, with plans to open more restaurants across the city in the coming years.
Allen Buhay is the Executive Chef de Cuisine of all of the restaurants under Wild Flour Bakery + Café Corp since it opened in 2012. He was born and raised in the Philippines but pursued studies in California, where he earned his degree in Culinary Arts from the Le Cordon Bleu California College of Culinary Arts in 2006. He then honed his culinary craft at several kitchens, including at Jean-Georges Restaurant in New York City, Paris Club in Chicago, Summit Centers in Malibu, and L.A.-based Church and State Bistro as its Sous Chef, where he met and worked with power couple Margarita and Walter Mankze. In 2012, he returned to his home country to start Wildflour Café + Bakery, together with the Manzkes and Margarita’s sister Ana. He only planned to stay for a quick five month stint, but many years later, Allen has stayed on to be both executive chef and a managing partner of Wildflour, where he oversees the day-to-day operations, menu engineering, procurement, among others roles, of the groups’ multiple brands, restaurants, and kitchens.
Jarret "BJ" Mantuano IV
BJ Mantuano is the Executive Sous Chef of all of the restaurants under Wild Flour Bakery + Café Corp. A Filipino-American who grew up in California, he spent many years working restaurant and service jobs on the side while finishing his studies, which ignited his passion for food. He graduated from San Diego State University in 2008 with a degree in marketing, and went on to take on marketing and communication roles in Los Angeles. Ultimately, he moved to the Philippines in 2009, where he pursued his love of food at the Academy for International Culinary Arts, where he earned his degree in culinary arts in 2011. After a brief stint as Pantry Chef at Cicou Restaurant, he became one of the founding Sous Chefs at Wildflour when it opened in 2012, and to this day, together with Ana, Chef Allen, and the Manzkes, leads as one of the Executive Chefs of the group and its host of restaurant brands, where he oversees day-to-day operations and many other functions that contribute to the highly successful F&B business’ success.
Braving the immense challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and looking to emerge from the crisis “rising like flour” even stronger (with a now more diverse portfolio of brands and products than ever before), Wildflour is only poised to sustain its growth in the years to come. The group has its sights set on further expanding its footprint, first by reaching every corner of Metro Manila (through strategic new restaurant and cloud kitchen locations in the most prime spots in the Metro in the pipeline, and efficient long-distance delivery operations across multiple channels), but also widening its customer base beyond Manila and venturing across borders and overseas in the near future.