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.
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. After going to college to study business, she then relocated back to Chicago to attend the Art Institute for fashion marketing. Upon graduation, she realized she was destined to be in hospitality. Having been in the industry now for over 16 years and residing in CA for 10 years, she brings with her an experience in hotels, bars, fine dining and casual restaurant concepts. She shares with Iwan and Manuela the ideal of inviting people into your “home” with extraordinary warmth and generosity.
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.
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.
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.
Floor Manager & Private Events Manage
Once a picky eater as a child, 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 started managing a fine-dining restaurant in New York, where she fell in love with 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.
Photography: Jason Rowan