Top Chef S21 Manuel Barella Lopez

Manny Barella

HOMETOWN: Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
OCCUPATION/PROFESSION: Culinary Director, Camp Pickle & Jaguar Bolera (Opening 2024)

Born in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, Manny (Manuel) Barella took a leap to leave law school and enrolled in a culinary program to pursue his true passion. His natural talent and drive led him on a journey that landed him in kitchens including the luxury Sea Island Resort in Georgia, five-star Napa Valley resort Calistoga Ranch and Napa’s Michelin-rated Solage Resort. A taste for adventure drew him to Boulder, Colo., where he earned a position at James Beard award-winning Frasca Food & Wine as Chef de Partie before taking on the position of Sous Chef at Uchi in Denver and eventually Executive Chef/Partner at Bellota. In 2022, he was named a James Beard semifinalist in the Emerging Chef category. Demonstrating his commitment to helping others, Manny serves as the President of the Hispanic Chefs Association in Colorado, dedicating his time as an ambassador of authentic Mexican cuisine and donating his talents to organizations focused on fostering culinary talent in the community. Manny is currently the Culinary Director at Camp Pickle and Jaguar Bolera, both highly anticipated “eatertainment” concepts that will feature his wood-fired dishes inspired by Mexican and southern cuisines. Jaguar Bolera will open in 2024 in Raleigh and Atlanta and Camp Pickle in Denver and Tulsa in 2025.