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Host: Isi

Manila, Philippines

USD
$26-$68 per person

Traditional Filipino family recipes with a local foodie

Host offerings
  • House
  • Professional cook
  • Pets
  • Vegetarian
  • Alcohol
  • Transportation
  • Cooking class
  • Market visit
  • Food tour

Meet Isi

Isi has been in the food business for over ten years - creating recipes for dairy companies and restaurants, doing food styling and photography and selling spices online. She has recently started "Chili Asylum", an institution dedicated to marketing fresh chilies and chilli products sourced directly from Filipino farmers. Isi says she learned everything she knows about cooking from her Nanay (grandmother) who she watched cook fresh lunches and dinners everyday growing up. Isi loves cooking and serving the local, regional food she grew up eating. Isi enjoys collaborating with other chefs and food lovers in the food business to create new and delicious food.

Curious to know more? Read a recent journalist's account in The Chicago Tribune of her experience with Isi here.

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (1-10 guests) Your menu might include dishes such as ensaladang pako (local fern salad in a calamansi and raw honey dressing), grilled shrimp in a cilantro chimichurri (an Isi creation), ginataang kalabasa at sitaw (squash and green beans in a coconut milk stew), mechado (soy marinated beef, cooked in an onion and tomato sauce), inihaw na baboy (grilled pork chops) followed by homemade calamansi pie for dessert made by her best friend Earnest.

Cooking experience: (1-10 guests) First Isi will take you through her small vegetable garden where she grows lemongrass and calamansi, a distinctive Filipino citrus fruit that she uses to flavor her food. Isi's food is redolent of flavors such as calamansi, garlic, chilies, coconut milk and fish sauce. In her kitchen she will teach you to prepare Filipino family recipes that have been passed down through the generations. You can choose between a hands-on lesson and a cooking demonstration during which you will watch her prepare the meal. Just let her know your preference!

Market visit: (1-5 guests) Your weekend morning begins with a visit to an open-air market where Isi will introduce you to seasonal produce as well as cooked local and international foods. You will then drive to her home in Quezon City, located about 30 minutes away depending on the day and traffic.

Market visits are available on weekends and on weekdays. On Saturdays you will visit Salcedo Market and on Sundays, Legazpi Market, both are open-air farmer’s markets. On weekdays you can visit either Farmers Market or Suki Market, local markets near Isi's home in Quezon City that she frequently shops at. Please NOTE that evening market tours are not offered on weekdays, only on weekends.

Notes: Please allot enough time to get to Isi's home, especially during heavy traffic times.

Languages spoken: English

Sample menu

This is just a sample menu to give you an idea of the types of dishes the host cooks. Your menu will vary according to seasonal availability.
  • Ensaladang pako (fern salad in a calamansi citrus dressing)
  • Ginataang kalabasa at sitaw (squash in a coconut milk stew)
  • Grilled shrimp in a cilantro chimichurri
  • Mechado (soy marinated beef, cooked in an onion and tomato sauce)
  • Inihaw na baboy (grilled pork chops)
  • Dessert like calamansi pie

Traveler reviews

4.95 (19)
Our family had a wonderful lunch prepared by Isi at their home in QC. Isi was warm, wonderful and knowledgeable on food and philippine products. Her house was beautiful and relaxing my kids did not want to leave. She even accommodated our requests for food and even took into consideration that I have small, picky kids. My husband is from Singapore and though I'm a Filipino myself I'm still wowed by the food she prepared. We have eggplant cooked with egg omelette, bbq pork, baked boneless milkfish with salted egg (superb!), chicken bao, spring roll, adobong sitaw (this was also delicious), calamansi pie and a refreshing honey lemon ginger drink. Everything was my favorite, i could not decide which one is the best or the least of my favorite. My husband was extremely satisfied and full even my mom. We even urge her to share the salted egg since it was a very good combination with the baked milkfish. I'd go and try this again to venture more food discoveries.
- penylope_18 January 08, 2020
Isi is a wonderful cooking teacher and also gave me a lot of information about Filipino history and culture. We walked around the market near her home, which definitely gave me a deeper insight of Philippines. And then cooked three Filipino dishes at her beautiful home. I loved everything about this experience with her. She also suggested a lot of Filipino restaurants near my hotel in Makati and Cebu! It was also great to hear her family’s story while we were on the way to the market. So kind and charming Isi is!!! I recommend everyone coming to Manila experience her wonderful cooking class in order to know more about the local culture which you can never have with normal sight seeing.
- kyushuislandcooking November 26, 2019
Isi is an absolute delight: friendly, knowledgeable, experienced and passionate. This is a wonderful, relaxed way to spend a couple of hours and an excellent way to learn about not only Filipino cuisine, but also gain some insider tips about what to see and where to go (including where to eat!) in Manila and beyond.
- PrincessLoz123 October 30, 2019
Thank you Isi for showing us the filipino kitchen and for the amazing dinner. We will definitely visit again.
- Alfonso S September 22, 2019
I had the most amazing, fun time and left absolutely stuffed full of delicious, vegetarian food. Thanks for accommodating my preferences Isi! Isi’s friends from overseas also attended which made things super fun.
- haidees2014 September 14, 2019
Forget the Zagat-rated restaurants in Manila. Enjoy this authentic experience. I can’t rave enough. Now I will incorporate Traveling Spoon into all my international adventures.
- TravelingTrails4u August 28, 2019
Isi wies uns in einige Besonderheiten und Geheimnisse der philippinischen Küche ein und war eine exzellente Gastgeberin.
- N7941RXsebastians June 07, 2019
This was a great find, because there aren't many vegetarian cooking classes available in Manila. I appreciated Isi's willingness to adapt the menu to my dietary restrictions and cooking in her family's outdoor kitchen was a new experience for me. She offered interesting information about her food sources and generously suggested vegetarian restaurants in town. I'd have liked to receive a printed copy of the recipes we made!
- JeaLeeCoh June 03, 2019
Had a fabulous time learning about Filipino cuisine and the Philippines as well. Isi is a tremendous ambassador for her country and provided us with a mouthwatering lunch. Come hungry.
- CoraPueblo_Colorado April 18, 2019
I enjoyed learning what knowledge Isi has to share about Filipino culture and food. Isi accommodated my vegetarian diet and even added a dished a wanted to learn to the menu. I enjoyed the process and loved the second cooking area. Everything that we made was soooo delicious! I would love to take another class on a future trip. I highly recommend this class; stop your search and book it!
- ReginiceC March 11, 2019
We had the dinner cooking experience with Isi on Valentine's Day. She even accommodated our short-notice request to make Shrimp Sinigang plus we got to savor 2 family recipes, a beef dish and a kind of sweet pork meatloaf. Everything tasted amazing. Calamansi pie for desert was heavenly. We appreciated to be guests at a local family home (the area and the house are VERY nice!) and Isi managed so well to create a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere while being the perfect host at the same time. She gave us lots of great info on the Philippines' cuisine and heritage, as well as what to do and where to eat in Manila, which considerably enriched the 2nd half of our stay in town. I was assuming we would be more actively involved in the cooking process, but as it was Valentine's we were also very ok with just being spoiled ;) Would definitely participate again any time!
- mawe83 February 19, 2019
Isi was patient and happy to share culinary knowledge with us. Isi prepped two dishes beforehand and we had the opportunity to participate (with a lot of hands-on guidance and demonstration from Isi herself) in cooking/prepping another two! Food was delicious, of generous portions and we were happy that it was manageable for learners like us! The calamansi pie was wonderful too. Isi also shared stories about Filipino food, cooking and culture over lunch and gave us recommendation on what to do and eat around Manila.
- JaneDoe48 February 18, 2019
- Valuable information on local food and herbs.- Learned a lot about Filipino kitchen & culture..- Had a perfect meal.- Wonderful private atmosphere with gracious and warm hospitality..This is more than can be expected or wished.Even learned a lot about local goods and production.
- Schroer-Berlin February 08, 2019
Isi is a fantastic chef who balances instruction and background beautifully and ensures everyone has an opportunity to participate. Isi is also a gracious and knowledgeable hostess who goes above and beyond to provide a fabulous experience.
- 790traceyp January 30, 2019
Had an afternoon class. The food was fabulous. Loved the experience and the knowledge shared by Chef Isi.
- 78sherryp January 30, 2019
Isi is a wonderful chef and had the right amount of instruction mixed with local information. Not only does she have a beautiful home that can accommodate up to 10 guests comfortably, but there is a small army of fluffy puppies (friendly and fenced in for safety) in the back that enjoy cuddles! Today we created some incredibly flavourful and simple dishes that we hope to be able to re-create back home. Thank you for our special day!
- Jaguar_2100 January 29, 2019
Isi was such a great host - it was rainy when I visited, so we actually started by having breakfast in her home, a very welcoming, bright place! We went to the market and saw a lot of fresh seafood, vegetables and Filipino delicacies - she explained what certain ingredients/foods were that I wasn't familiar with. Then, back to her home to prepare the baby squid we purchased for adobo, a traditional Filipino dish. Chatted a lot along the way about local food culture today (I grew up in Manila, but live in Canada now) and Isi shared interesting insights - ask her about chilies, too! :)
- nastasha_aa November 05, 2017
Isi was a great host and the food was lovely.
- Tom Isaacson August 13, 2017
Isi prepared a delicious feast of seasonal, local produce blending traditional and contemporary cooking styles. She also supplemented the meal with locally produced liqueurs and desserts. It was a fun and informative (and filling) survey of Filipino food past and present.
- Jared December 09, 2016
Read More
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Isi

$26-$68 USD

per person
100% VETTED
Learn more
  • No waiting! Booking confirmed instantly
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back
  • Free cancellation up to 48 hours in advance
  • Private experience
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$40 $30 $26
Cooking Experience + Meal
$48 $40 $30
Market Tour
$40 $30 $26
Market Tour + Meal
$54 $48 $40
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$68 $60 $56
Alcohol
$6 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$40 $30 $26
Cooking Experience + Meal
$48 $40 $30
Market Tour
$40 $30 $26
Market Tour + Meal
$54 $48 $40
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$68 $60 $56
Alcohol
$6 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
11:00am-1:00pm 6:00pm-8:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
10:00am-1:00pm 5:30pm-8:30pm
Market Tour
9:00am-10:00am 5:00pm-6:00pm
Market Tour+ Meal
9:00am-12:00pm 5:00pm-8:00pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
9:30am-2:30pm 5:00pm-10:00pm

Meet Isi

Isi has been in the food business for over ten years - creating recipes for dairy companies and restaurants, doing food styling and photography and selling spices online. She has recently started "Chili Asylum", an institution dedicated to marketing fresh chilies and chilli products sourced directly from Filipino farmers. Isi says she learned everything she knows about cooking from her Nanay (grandmother) who she watched cook fresh lunches and dinners everyday growing up. Isi loves cooking and serving the local, regional food she grew up eating. Isi enjoys collaborating with other chefs and food lovers in the food business to create new and delicious food.

Curious to know more? Read a recent journalist's account in The Chicago Tribune of her experience with Isi here.

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (1-10 guests) Your menu might include dishes such as ensaladang pako (local fern salad in a calamansi and raw honey dressing), grilled shrimp in a cilantro chimichurri (an Isi creation), ginataang kalabasa at sitaw (squash and green beans in a coconut milk stew), mechado (soy marinated beef, cooked in an onion and tomato sauce), inihaw na baboy (grilled pork chops) followed by homemade calamansi pie for dessert made by her best friend Earnest.

Cooking experience: (1-10 guests) First Isi will take you through her small vegetable garden where she grows lemongrass and calamansi, a distinctive Filipino citrus fruit that she uses to flavor her food. Isi's food is redolent of flavors such as calamansi, garlic, chilies, coconut milk and fish sauce. In her kitchen she will teach you to prepare Filipino family recipes that have been passed down through the generations. You can choose between a hands-on lesson and a cooking demonstration during which you will watch her prepare the meal. Just let her know your preference!

Market visit: (1-5 guests) Your weekend morning begins with a visit to an open-air market where Isi will introduce you to seasonal produce as well as cooked local and international foods. You will then drive to her home in Quezon City, located about 30 minutes away depending on the day and traffic.

Market visits are available on weekends and on weekdays. On Saturdays you will visit Salcedo Market and on Sundays, Legazpi Market, both are open-air farmer’s markets. On weekdays you can visit either Farmers Market or Suki Market, local markets near Isi's home in Quezon City that she frequently shops at. Please NOTE that evening market tours are not offered on weekdays, only on weekends.

Notes: Please allot enough time to get to Isi's home, especially during heavy traffic times.

Languages spoken: English

Sample menu

This is just a sample menu to give you an idea of the types of dishes the host cooks. Your menu will vary according to seasonal availability.
  • Ensaladang pako (fern salad in a calamansi citrus dressing)
  • Ginataang kalabasa at sitaw (squash in a coconut milk stew)
  • Grilled shrimp in a cilantro chimichurri
  • Mechado (soy marinated beef, cooked in an onion and tomato sauce)
  • Inihaw na baboy (grilled pork chops)
  • Dessert like calamansi pie

Traveler reviews

4.95 (19)
Our family had a wonderful lunch prepared by Isi at their home in QC. Isi was warm, wonderful and knowledgeable on food and philippine products. Her house was beautiful and relaxing my kids did not want to leave. She even accommodated our requests for food and even took into consideration that I have small, picky kids. My husband is from Singapore and though I'm a Filipino myself I'm still wowed by the food she prepared. We have eggplant cooked with egg omelette, bbq pork, baked boneless milkfish with salted egg (superb!), chicken bao, spring roll, adobong sitaw (this was also delicious), calamansi pie and a refreshing honey lemon ginger drink. Everything was my favorite, i could not decide which one is the best or the least of my favorite. My husband was extremely satisfied and full even my mom. We even urge her to share the salted egg since it was a very good combination with the baked milkfish. I'd go and try this again to venture more food discoveries.
- penylope_18 January 08, 2020
Isi is a wonderful cooking teacher and also gave me a lot of information about Filipino history and culture. We walked around the market near her home, which definitely gave me a deeper insight of Philippines. And then cooked three Filipino dishes at her beautiful home. I loved everything about this experience with her. She also suggested a lot of Filipino restaurants near my hotel in Makati and Cebu! It was also great to hear her family’s story while we were on the way to the market. So kind and charming Isi is!!! I recommend everyone coming to Manila experience her wonderful cooking class in order to know more about the local culture which you can never have with normal sight seeing.
- kyushuislandcooking November 26, 2019
Isi is an absolute delight: friendly, knowledgeable, experienced and passionate. This is a wonderful, relaxed way to spend a couple of hours and an excellent way to learn about not only Filipino cuisine, but also gain some insider tips about what to see and where to go (including where to eat!) in Manila and beyond.
- PrincessLoz123 October 30, 2019
Thank you Isi for showing us the filipino kitchen and for the amazing dinner. We will definitely visit again.
- Alfonso S September 22, 2019
I had the most amazing, fun time and left absolutely stuffed full of delicious, vegetarian food. Thanks for accommodating my preferences Isi! Isi’s friends from overseas also attended which made things super fun.
- haidees2014 September 14, 2019
Forget the Zagat-rated restaurants in Manila. Enjoy this authentic experience. I can’t rave enough. Now I will incorporate Traveling Spoon into all my international adventures.
- TravelingTrails4u August 28, 2019
Isi wies uns in einige Besonderheiten und Geheimnisse der philippinischen Küche ein und war eine exzellente Gastgeberin.
- N7941RXsebastians June 07, 2019
This was a great find, because there aren't many vegetarian cooking classes available in Manila. I appreciated Isi's willingness to adapt the menu to my dietary restrictions and cooking in her family's outdoor kitchen was a new experience for me. She offered interesting information about her food sources and generously suggested vegetarian restaurants in town. I'd have liked to receive a printed copy of the recipes we made!
- JeaLeeCoh June 03, 2019
Had a fabulous time learning about Filipino cuisine and the Philippines as well. Isi is a tremendous ambassador for her country and provided us with a mouthwatering lunch. Come hungry.
- CoraPueblo_Colorado April 18, 2019
I enjoyed learning what knowledge Isi has to share about Filipino culture and food. Isi accommodated my vegetarian diet and even added a dished a wanted to learn to the menu. I enjoyed the process and loved the second cooking area. Everything that we made was soooo delicious! I would love to take another class on a future trip. I highly recommend this class; stop your search and book it!
- ReginiceC March 11, 2019
We had the dinner cooking experience with Isi on Valentine's Day. She even accommodated our short-notice request to make Shrimp Sinigang plus we got to savor 2 family recipes, a beef dish and a kind of sweet pork meatloaf. Everything tasted amazing. Calamansi pie for desert was heavenly. We appreciated to be guests at a local family home (the area and the house are VERY nice!) and Isi managed so well to create a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere while being the perfect host at the same time. She gave us lots of great info on the Philippines' cuisine and heritage, as well as what to do and where to eat in Manila, which considerably enriched the 2nd half of our stay in town. I was assuming we would be more actively involved in the cooking process, but as it was Valentine's we were also very ok with just being spoiled ;) Would definitely participate again any time!
- mawe83 February 19, 2019
Isi was patient and happy to share culinary knowledge with us. Isi prepped two dishes beforehand and we had the opportunity to participate (with a lot of hands-on guidance and demonstration from Isi herself) in cooking/prepping another two! Food was delicious, of generous portions and we were happy that it was manageable for learners like us! The calamansi pie was wonderful too. Isi also shared stories about Filipino food, cooking and culture over lunch and gave us recommendation on what to do and eat around Manila.
- JaneDoe48 February 18, 2019
- Valuable information on local food and herbs.- Learned a lot about Filipino kitchen & culture..- Had a perfect meal.- Wonderful private atmosphere with gracious and warm hospitality..This is more than can be expected or wished.Even learned a lot about local goods and production.
- Schroer-Berlin February 08, 2019
Isi is a fantastic chef who balances instruction and background beautifully and ensures everyone has an opportunity to participate. Isi is also a gracious and knowledgeable hostess who goes above and beyond to provide a fabulous experience.
- 790traceyp January 30, 2019
Had an afternoon class. The food was fabulous. Loved the experience and the knowledge shared by Chef Isi.
- 78sherryp January 30, 2019
Isi is a wonderful chef and had the right amount of instruction mixed with local information. Not only does she have a beautiful home that can accommodate up to 10 guests comfortably, but there is a small army of fluffy puppies (friendly and fenced in for safety) in the back that enjoy cuddles! Today we created some incredibly flavourful and simple dishes that we hope to be able to re-create back home. Thank you for our special day!
- Jaguar_2100 January 29, 2019
Isi was such a great host - it was rainy when I visited, so we actually started by having breakfast in her home, a very welcoming, bright place! We went to the market and saw a lot of fresh seafood, vegetables and Filipino delicacies - she explained what certain ingredients/foods were that I wasn't familiar with. Then, back to her home to prepare the baby squid we purchased for adobo, a traditional Filipino dish. Chatted a lot along the way about local food culture today (I grew up in Manila, but live in Canada now) and Isi shared interesting insights - ask her about chilies, too! :)
- nastasha_aa November 05, 2017
Isi was a great host and the food was lovely.
- Tom Isaacson August 13, 2017
Isi prepared a delicious feast of seasonal, local produce blending traditional and contemporary cooking styles. She also supplemented the meal with locally produced liqueurs and desserts. It was a fun and informative (and filling) survey of Filipino food past and present.
- Jared December 09, 2016
Read More
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$40 $30 $26
Cooking Experience + Meal
$48 $40 $30
Market Tour
$40 $30 $26
Market Tour + Meal
$54 $48 $40
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$68 $60 $56
Alcohol
$6 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$40 $30 $26
Cooking Experience + Meal
$48 $40 $30
Market Tour
$40 $30 $26
Market Tour + Meal
$54 $48 $40
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$68 $60 $56
Alcohol
$6 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
11:00am-1:00pm 6:00pm-8:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
10:00am-1:00pm 5:30pm-8:30pm
Market Tour
9:00am-10:00am 5:00pm-6:00pm
Market Tour+ Meal
9:00am-12:00pm 5:00pm-8:00pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
9:30am-2:30pm 5:00pm-10:00pm
ABOUT TRAVELING SPOON

Traveling Spoon connects you with meaningful culinary experiences, from private cooking lessons to homecooked meals in people's homes. Enjoy an immersive cultural experience that gives you a glimpse into the local way of life.

FAQ

    You can cancel your reservation for free up until 48 hours before your experience. Experiences within 48 hours are not refundable.

    If you have a question for your host, you can include a note in the field "Write a note to your host" during the booking process. Once your booking is confirmed, you will be emailed your host's direct contact information and you will also be able to message the host through your profile. You can always cancel your booking and receive a full refund 48 hours or more before your experience. If you have other questions you can also email us at reservations@travelingspoon.com.

    Most of our hosts are able to accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies, including vegetarian and gluten free options. For vegetarian travelers, we have an icon on each host profile to indicate whether that host can also offer a fully vegetarian menu. There is a section in the booking form to note any allergies or dietary restrictions which will be sent directly to your host.

    Some hosts offer alcohol as an optional add-on for travelers who are of legal drinking age. Pricing for alcohol is visible on the host profile page and includes one to two glasses of wine, beer or local alcohol.

    Have a flight or other tour planned and can’t make the timing provided? If the timing listed on the host’s profile doesn’t work for you, our hosts can often accommodate timing changes. Because all of our experiences are private our hosts are happy to tailor experiences to meet your travel needs. Simply note your request in the booking process.

    Your card will not be charged until your host accepts your booking. Typically hosts respond to bookings within 72 hours. In the event your host is unavailable on your selected date and your host rejects your booking your credit card will not be charged.

    Your host's detailed contact information, including their phone number, address, and direction notes, will all be provided immediately upon successful confirmation of your experience (after your hosts accepts your booking and your credit card is successfully processed). This information will be emailed to you to the email address you used to sign up, and will also be visible on your Traveling Spoon profile.

    All prices are noted per person prices unless otherwise specified. Transportation is typically charged on a per car basis. Children aged 5-11 are 50% off, and infants aged 0-4 are free. Hosts set their own prices and Traveling Spoon marks up the experiences; on average hosts receive over 70% of the price paid by the traveler.

    100% of Traveling Spoon experiences are private! Just you and your host and host’s family.

    Hosts typically respond to booking inquiries within 72 hours. If for some reason you have not heard from your host or if you have any questions you can always contact us at reservations@travelingspoon.com.

    Your safety and security are our top priority. To ensure this, Traveling Spoon personally vets 100% of all hosts, including an in-person host visit, to ensure each host and experience meets our strict quality requirements.

    Some hosts offer transportation as an optional add-on for travelers. Typically this is round trip transportation with pick up and drop off at your hotel. Pricing is quoted per car. Specific instructions for transportation will be provided in your confirmation details when your booking is confirmed.

    Many of our hosts accommodate solo travelers. You can see if a host accepts solo travelers by looking at the traveler range found next to the experience descriptions on the host profile (indicated by the numbers in parentheses next to "In-home meal", "Cooking experience" and "Market visit").

    Most of our Traveling Spoon experiences are incredibly family friendly and can accommodate infants and children. If a host is unable to accommodate children that will be noted in the “Notes” section of their profile. Our child pricing policy is children aged 5-11 are 50% off, and infants aged 0-4 are free.