Ever since Executive Chef Manuel ‘Manny’ Diaz landed his first Los Angeles restaurant job back in 1980, he has spared no emotion in expressing his passion for preparing delicious meals. In fact, Diaz – whose culinary expertise and notoriety has landed him on the front pages of the Los Angeles Times and the Downtown News – is so passionate about cooking that even after a day that begins at 4:30 a.m., ending at 4:30 p.m., he will come home and enthusiastically prepare a scrumptious meal for his wife and children. Now, that’s passion! Diaz knows that giving back to the community is important, so he supports a variety of community causes, including the March of Dimes, Aid for Aids, and the Midnight Mission, among others. Despite all the recognition for his accomplishments, however, Diaz is most proud of his family, including his wife Veronica Tovalin Diaz and his two children, Denisse and Christian. He views his family as his biggest success.“Yes, my parents, brothers and sisters back in Durango, Mexico are very proud of me,” Diaz says. “And I am very lucky to have family and friends who believe in me. But I would be nobody and I would be nowhere if it weren’t for my wife and children.”Diaz, who also has appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal, Rafu Shimpo, NBC TV, JATV, with multiple guest appearances on Univision, is equally comfortable cooking in a restaurant setting as he is cooking for catered events. For more information, please call (949) 482-1011. What does it mean to be chef-driven? It means the flavor comes before food-cost. A great pan sauce overrules a cost benefit analysis. It means the suits are in the background, and the people that wear the chef coats are in charge.