Gill and Joel know hospitality and food pretty damn well. Manzana would simply not be without this hilarious and hard working partnership- owner and head chef, Joel Groenen, and Co owner and front of house manager/Mumma, Gill Farmer.


Owners – Joel and Gill at Manzana.


Our head chef Joel isn’t afraid of a sombrero or a bit of piñata!

Despite popular belief, no, we do not have a team of Mexican immigrants in our kitchen. We have one Joel- but we are positive there must be some kind of Mexican through-back in him somewhere.

Joel has a serious passion for creating delicious food with unique flavour combinations that just work and complement each other. He has a keen eye for detail (as you can tell by the look of our food) and is quite the perfectionist when it comes to presenting what he has created.

Having started his apprenticeship when he was sixteen, Joel always knew he had a flair for cooking and creating and was eager to get out into the industry and show off his skills. Working in all different establishments, from chaotic kitchens in Melbourne’s CBD to Eden Gardens tranquil and home-like cafe on the Mornington Peninsula, it was only a matter of time before Joel was going to open up his very own restaurant and show off his creative talents.

Gill and Joel had worked alongside each other at Linton’s cafe, and after working as a massage therapist at the Peninsula Hotsprings for five years, Gill decided to have a significant industry switch and jumped on board with the idea to start a restaurant in their hometown of Mt Eliza.

The two have always enjoyed modern Mexican food, and frequented Melbourne’s CBD restaurant Mamacita. Identifying a gap in the kind of restaurants on the Mornington Peninsula, the couple were inspired to create something of their own with their unique flair, Joel’s experience and Gill’s creative eye in interior design.

alas, MANZANA WAS BORN, and boy are we happy about it!


Manzana by night.

Our lovely owners would love to meet you and are super proud of their establishment, so why not come and see it for yourself?!

Love the Manzana Team x


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