An Intimate Reception
at the home of Vallejo Gantner + Gundega Laivina
Hors d’Oeuvres by Diana Manalang

February 28, 2024



From 2019-2023, Vallejo Gantner served as Artistic Executive Director of the Onassis Foundation USA, an innovative programming foundation based in Athens with satellites in New York and Los Angeles. Artistic Director of Performance Space 122 (now Performance Space New York) from 2005-2017 and a consulting curator for BAM and Theater de Welt. A board member of Myer Family Investments, and Jianguo, both diversified investment companies based in Melbourne. He is currently engaged in driving these toward a new strategy of sustainable investment.

Hospitality industry veteran Diana Manalang brings more than a decade of experience to her two Long Island City businesses, Little Chef Little Kitchen and Little Chef Little Café. Building on expertise developed in marketing for brands like Swarovski and restaurant management, Diana brings a passion for food and customer care to everything she does. Prior to launching her own businesses, she helped develop restaurant and food hall concepts while also playing a pivotal role in the success of the Bareburger Group, where she rose to the position of Managing Partner. Ready to build something of her own, Diana started working as a private chef and caterer, launching Little Chef Little Kitchen in 2018. Working as her own boss allowed Diana to take a personalized approach to creating dishes and menus that are tailored to every type of event from intimate celebrations to large catered affairs. Launched in 2019, Little Chef Little Café brought a new breakfast and lunch option to fast growing Long Island City, where she also introduced dishes drawing on her Filipino-American heritage. Showing Diana’s resilience in the face of business challenges, she pivoted to selling prepared meals for adults and kids during the pandemic while the café became a to-go destination. Building on the success of the prepared meals, Diana now supplies healthy lunches to a number of neighborhood schools. Diana’s charity work includes sitting on the board of Sprouting Scholars, an organization dedicated to children’s education abroad, since 2015 and as a current member of the junior board of the Food Education Fund, a nonprofit supporting culinary-focused public high school students in New York City.