An LA native, Chef Kris brings coastal California inspired dishes to the Manuela menu. Highlights include his famous biscuits served with honey butter and country ham, BBQ Morro Bay Oysters with nettle butter and Peads & Barnett Pork Collar with caramelized shallot and mustard seed. Inspiration comes from the abundance of California's vibrant flavors and colors. You'll usually find Kris exploring the different herbs and vegetables in our kitchen garden or working with local farmers, producers and suppliers to source fresh, seasonal produce.
Asst. General Manager
Opal's heritage is a huge part of who she is. Her mother is Thai and her father Cajun French. In both cultures, food is at the center of each family gathering. Her fondest childhood memories are of watching her grandmothers cook for the family. Opal attended Rollins College to pursue a degree in PR, but subsequently changed direction to attend Le Cordon Bleu and develop her love for all things food related.
Her focus at Manuela is making sure both guests and staff feel like part of the family. Opal also loves discussing food trivia and keeping up on cultural food trends.
Amanda was born in Chicago to a Belizan father and a mother from Kansas. She grew up eating her father’s cooking from his homeland where Belizan culture celebrates food as an extension of life, love and family. Having studied business and fashion marketing (at the Art Institute in Chicago), Amanda realised upon graduation that she was destined to work in hospitality. She brings a wealth of experience gained over 16 years in the industry and shares Iwan and Manuela’s philosophy of inviting people into your “home” with extraordinary warmth and generosity.
Chef de cuisine
Christian was raised in both San Diego and Los Angeles. Throughout his career he has worked for chefs Nyesha Arrington and Chris Crary. Christian has a passion for locally grown organic produce and champions the Manuela ethos in our kitchen.
Niki has been working with cocktails for 12 years. Her cocktail philosophy is simple and ingredient-focused, which is an ethos shared with Manuela. Everything centers around the food, and it has been important to create a beverage list that enhances that.
Purchaser & Sous Chef
Edwin, a native Californian, went to UCSD and the CIA. He began his culinary career in 2005 and has worked with Chefs Josiah Citrin, Dan Silverman, Mark Zeitouni, and Justin Smillie. He brings a vast knowledge of culinary skill & operations and has built great relationships with local farmers & purveyors. He is putting his economic degree to good use keeping the rest of the chefs in line.
Private Events Manager & Floor Manager
Once a picky eater, Danielle surprised her family when she went on to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America where she received a BPS in Culinary Arts & Restaurant Management. Following graduation, she managed a fine-dining restaurant in New York, where she fell in love with hospitality, wine and confirmed her devotion to food. Danielle continued on to Los Angeles to grow her culinary, beverage and hospitality skills and fell into the world of event coordinating. She has great enthusiasm for chefs and restaurants that strive for the best quality ingredients, focusing on locally grown products, and challenging the palate.