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Posted By - Kate Spencer On February 11, 2016

Why We Love These Valentine’s Day Power Couples

Gayle Pirie & John Clark

They started their first restaurant Foreign Cinema in 1999 as an ever-evolving dining experience with foreign and independent films screened in a covered outdoor courtyard. In 2009 they opened Show Dogs as a mesmerizing sausage emporium with high-quality, organic food and locally brewed beer and biodynamic wine.

“We both lead by example and teach people every day to provide warmth, humanity and sensuality in all that we do. Then we get to do it again the next day”.

When asked if they ever fight while working together – “we tend to focus on just how lucky we are. The rest is frosting. We are just very lucky and try to remember that when stresses arrive daily.”

Karen Hatfield & Quinn Hatfield

“We had stopped eating at restaurants like Hatfield’s when we were traveling or even just in L.A. Our sensibility has just changed, and we don’t want a restaurant that’s not a representation of us” as their explanation for closing down their restaurant Hatfield's in 2014.

This change in direction sparked Odys + Penelope, which opened in the La Brea district in January 2015 on the same block as their fabulous bakery & cafe, Sycamore Kitchen. It’s casual with an open grill, wood-fired smoker and Brazilian churrasco. 

Karen handles the sweet and the operations (and restaurant design!) and Quinn handles the savory.

“The best part is that it’s always really tough to hire people who you would even trust as much as I trust Karen,” says Quinn, to which Karen adds, “You speak the same language. We worked at really good restaurants, and had a similar work ethic and background and training. We had the same vision, and were able to carry out that vision together.”

Margarita Manzke & Walter Manzke

Husband and wife team Walter and Margarita “Marge” Manzke’s french eatery REPUBLIQUE opened in December 2013 in the 1920’s building that had been the home of Nancy Silverton’s famed Campanile and La Brea Bakery. The front area is a cafe bakery featuring Marge’s artisanal breads and pastries. By night, this same space is transformed into a wine bar.  

Interesting sidebar is the couple’s other venture WILDFLOUR CAFE + BAKERY, which is located in the Philippines. The couple saw an opportunity with the explosive urban growth in Manila and have opened four locations of Wildflour Cafe across Manila. Walter and Marge Manzke also opened THE FARMACY soda fountain shop and are planning on exporting another made-famous-in-LA concept: Pink’s Hot Dog. 

When asked what the best part of working together, Margarita says, “The best part is seeing each other. I think if we didn’t work together, we’d never see each other,” to which Walter agrees, “Yeah! And for the most part we work very well together. Every once in a while we butt heads, which happens. But we probably butt heads with each other for the same reason we work well together.”

Margarita Lee & Phillip Frankland Lee

Before they had Scratch Bar in Encino, they had Wolf Cuisine, which was just the two chefs cooking and prepping as the only two employees in the business. When Phillip took over D’Cache, Margarita was the pastry chef. When asked what the best part of working together is, Margarita says, “I think it’s really inspiring. When we’re working together, we always come up with better ideas. The nights flow better.”

In March 2015 after being open for six months, the Gadarene Swine in Studio City went from an all-vegetable restaurant to entirely vegan and opened an outdoor bar called The Wine Garden.

In December 2015, they opened Scratch Bar & Kitchen - a 16-seat bar that wraps around an open kitchen where the chefs run the tables. It’s a super personal and custom experience that is all about the “Scratch Life” that Phillip and his wife Margarita have created. And the fan base is strong as Phillip is not only on the current season of TOP CHEF (he won the 8th episode), but a past winner of Chopped, Guy’s Grocery Games and Cutthroat Kitchen.

Genevieve Gergis & Ori Menashe

Pastry Chef Gergis, with her Executive Chef husband Ori Menashe, opened a multi-regional Italian restaurant, Bestia (Italian for “Beast”), in 2010 in a downtown LA neighborhood that now boasts some of the coolest restaurants. 

Genevieve is a self-taught pastry chef who was given the push to pursue pastry by none-other than Nancy Silverton of Osteria Mozza. Genevieve told Zagat after Bestia topped the list of Best Newcomer in the Zagat 2014 Los Angeles Restaurant Survey about Nancy Silverton’s influence: “I made all the desserts for Amy Pressman’s [founder of Pasadena's Old Town Bakery] funeral, out of respect for her. Ori was doing the food. And I made them, and she [Nancy] tried my stuff, and flipped out, and told me that I should be doing pastries. She really believes in me. She sent me to Chez Panisse for three weeks. It was right before the restaurant opened, and I didn’t even know what a professional kitchen looked like.” It was this divine intervention that had Gergis move from front of house at Bestia to officially taking on the role of pastry chef.  

Genevieve says about working with her husband, “When it’s someone you’ve been together with for 10 years and it’s your love and your family, we trust each other completely. I trust him as if he’s me, and he trusts me as if I’m him.” They both agree that their best gift they have given each other is their daughter, Saffron. 

Zoe Nathan & Josh Loeb

Chefs Zoe Nathan and her husband Josh Loeb have smartly created one of the most important restaurant groups in LA - with each opening they serve up an authentic, unpretentious but still exciting dining experience. 

They co-own RUSTIC CANYON WINE BAR & SEASONAL KITCHENHUCKLEBERRY CAFÉ AND BAKERYSWEET ROSE CREAMERY, and the expanded MILO & OLIVE and two new exciting projects last summer: CASSIA and ESTERS.

The restaurants are dedicated to the best quality ingredients from local farmers and fiercely committed to supporting local food producers who use sustainable farming practices.Zoe: “I actually don’t think I could do what I do without having my partner be my husband.”

Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton & Greg Denton

After working together under Chef Hiro Sone at Terra in Napa Valley, Gabrielle and Greg opened OX in Portland in 2012. OX blends the culinary heritage of Spain, France and Italy with the wood-fired grilling tradition of Argentina. To say that people are obsessed is an understatement. From being on Bon Appetit’s Top 50 Best New Restaurants list, in the 2014 class of FOOD & WINE’s Best New Chefs and finalists for the James Beard Award, Best Chefs: Pacific Northwest in 2015, Gabi and Greg are fan and industry favorites.

In November 2015 they announced their new venture SuperBite in the West End of Portland. It’s all about unexpected big, bold flavor combinations and ingredients that they love for “a dining adventure in small plates.”

Both chefs knew that this was the career for them. Greg knew he “wanted to be a chef since I was four years old, when I got an Easy-Bake Oven” and Gabrielle also found her passion for food at a young age, “I spent summers with my family in Ecuador—in Quito, up in the Andes…It gave me a bigger appreciation for what used to be peasant cuts like offal, and a respect and appreciation for vegetables.”

Cortney Burns & Nicolaus Balla 

These co-chefs bought Bar Tartine from the Tartine Bakery owners when they merged the bakery with Blue Bottle. In September 2015, they announced that the restaurant would be re-imagined as Crescent, as in the “ebb and flow of things, and the birthplace of civilization and food.”

Until the name change takes place, Bar Tartine is still serving up delicious menus, including items featured in the 2015 James Beard Award Winning cookbook Bar Tartine: Techniques & Recipes

They make their own sausage, dried spices, cheese, fermented beverages, and pickling and preserving in-house.

When they have down time (a rarity), they like to run from their home in Glen Park to Ocean beach. When asked what a perfect night on the town looks like, they said “an early evening walk through Golden Gate Park and a dinner at Spices on Clement”. 

 Cook On!

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