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Host: Casto

Manila, Philippines

USD
$30-$64 per person

Plant-based Modern Filipino cuisine

Host offerings
  • Apartment
  • Professional cook
  • Pets
  • Vegetarian
  • Alcohol
  • Transportation
  • Cooking experience
  • Market visit
  • Food tour

Meet Casto

Casto was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States with his family when he was 3 years old. He has been in the culinary space as long as he can remember – from an undergrad in Food Science in Upstate New York, to culinary school in Vancouver, Canada, to being a Pastry Chef at a hotel in Washington DC, and most recently an Executive Chef at a culinary school in Los Angeles. He moved to Manila in 2017 to discover his roots through food, language, and people. Casto recently decided to go vegan and started re-creating traditional Filipino recipes, which tend to be very pork and seafood heavy, into delicious plant-based renditions. His cuisine is a reflection of his food journey: the memories of Filipino dishes shared at the family table, the Western techniques he learned and honed in the restaurant industry, and his imagination that brings both of them together. Apart from being a plant-based chef, Casto is also a yoga teacher and loves the outdoors. He looks forward to spreading the love for Filipino cuisine with his plant-based renditions as well as connecting with food-forward travelers, sharing food and travel stories.

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: (1-4 guests) Casto lives in a comfortable condominium in Metro Manila. He will welcome you with a warm smile and some salabat (ginger tea) or calamansi juice (local lemonade) served with snacks such as banana chips or pan de sal (local bread) bruschetta. While you settle in he will share more about living in the Philippines and his journey of re-creating traditional Filipino recipes into plant-based versions. A few dishes that you might try at Casto’s dining table are paksiw na langka (sweet and savory jackfruit stew), beetroot kilawin (roasted beet "ceviche"), and his signature six grain pilaf. You will end your meal with a unique composed dessert, such as a soymilk panna cotta with mango jam and ube (purple yam) shortbread. You can also opt to enjoy your meal with some local wine or a seasonal gin and tonic (at an additional cost, choose the alcohol option while booking).

Cooking experience: (1-4 guests) After settling in with a welcome drink and snacks, join Casto in his cozy kitchen for a hands-on cooking class that will last for one hour. You will learn to make two dishes in this vegan cooking class, such as taho (a silky soymilk custard) and adobong talong (eggplant braised in a soy and vinegar reduction). By the end of your cooking class, you will successfully learn to use plant-based ingredients to recreate Casto’s interpretation of traditional Filipino dishes. Later join him at the dining table to share the meal you helped prepare and a few other dishes that he prepared in advance.

Market visit: (1-4 guests) Meet Casto at Market! Market!, a local mall complex that is a 5 minute walk from his home. Casto will take you to the outdoor farmers market, where you will see local produce and meet some of his sukis (favorite vendors). He will point out unique seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as some local snacks and refreshments. There is even an area with stalls showcasing unique food products from different regions of the Philippines. You will walk through the market and stop at a few stalls to buy ingredients before heading to Casto’s home for your cooking class.

Notes: Casto only serves a vegan or vegetarian meal. Please inform him of your preference as well as any other dietary restrictions. You will also be asked to take your shoes off when you enter his apartment, as this is a part of the Filipino tradition that embodies respect for the owner of the house.

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.
  • Welcome drink: salabat (ginger tea) or calamansi juice (local lemonade)
  • Welcome snacks: local banana chips or pan de sal bruschetta
  • Family-style entrees: paksiw na langka (sweet and savory jackfruit stew), beetroot kilawin (roasted beet "ceviche"), adobong talong (eggplant braised in a soy and vinegar reduction)
  • Dessert: soymilk panna cotta with mango jam and ube (purple yam) shortbread

Traveler reviews

Casto is a great conversationalist and there was never a dull moment with him. He was generously sharing his experiences while doing a cooking demo. Denise and I think that he is an old soul because he is young but has a lot of experience up his sleeve! We admire how Casto expresses his individuality and his vibrant personality is evident in how he presents himself. We loved what he served us for lunch. We are not vegans but we really enjoyed the food. He served us 3 dishes, 2 of which are a little sour, and the other has a rich taste of garlic and mushroom which really complemented the taste of the whole meal.
- Traveling Spoon Ambassador s, Cherry and Denise

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Casto

$30-$64 USD

per person
100%
Satisfaction Guaranteed
  • 100% Satisfaction guarantee or your money back
  • Free cancellation up to 48 hours in advance
  • Your credit card will not be charged until your host accepts your booking
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$40 $30 Not offered
Cooking Experience + Meal
$48 $40 Not offered
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$64 $54 Not offered
Alcohol
$9 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$40 $30 Not offered
Cooking Experience + Meal
$48 $40 Not offered
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$64 $54 Not offered
Alcohol
$9 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
12:00pm-2:00pm 7:00pm-9:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
11:00am-2:00pm 5:30pm-8:30pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
10:00am-2:00pm 4:00pm-8:00pm

Meet Casto

Casto was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States with his family when he was 3 years old. He has been in the culinary space as long as he can remember – from an undergrad in Food Science in Upstate New York, to culinary school in Vancouver, Canada, to being a Pastry Chef at a hotel in Washington DC, and most recently an Executive Chef at a culinary school in Los Angeles. He moved to Manila in 2017 to discover his roots through food, language, and people. Casto recently decided to go vegan and started re-creating traditional Filipino recipes, which tend to be very pork and seafood heavy, into delicious plant-based renditions. His cuisine is a reflection of his food journey: the memories of Filipino dishes shared at the family table, the Western techniques he learned and honed in the restaurant industry, and his imagination that brings both of them together. Apart from being a plant-based chef, Casto is also a yoga teacher and loves the outdoors. He looks forward to spreading the love for Filipino cuisine with his plant-based renditions as well as connecting with food-forward travelers, sharing food and travel stories.

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: (1-4 guests) Casto lives in a comfortable condominium in Metro Manila. He will welcome you with a warm smile and some salabat (ginger tea) or calamansi juice (local lemonade) served with snacks such as banana chips or pan de sal (local bread) bruschetta. While you settle in he will share more about living in the Philippines and his journey of re-creating traditional Filipino recipes into plant-based versions. A few dishes that you might try at Casto’s dining table are paksiw na langka (sweet and savory jackfruit stew), beetroot kilawin (roasted beet "ceviche"), and his signature six grain pilaf. You will end your meal with a unique composed dessert, such as a soymilk panna cotta with mango jam and ube (purple yam) shortbread. You can also opt to enjoy your meal with some local wine or a seasonal gin and tonic (at an additional cost, choose the alcohol option while booking).

Cooking experience: (1-4 guests) After settling in with a welcome drink and snacks, join Casto in his cozy kitchen for a hands-on cooking class that will last for one hour. You will learn to make two dishes in this vegan cooking class, such as taho (a silky soymilk custard) and adobong talong (eggplant braised in a soy and vinegar reduction). By the end of your cooking class, you will successfully learn to use plant-based ingredients to recreate Casto’s interpretation of traditional Filipino dishes. Later join him at the dining table to share the meal you helped prepare and a few other dishes that he prepared in advance.

Market visit: (1-4 guests) Meet Casto at Market! Market!, a local mall complex that is a 5 minute walk from his home. Casto will take you to the outdoor farmers market, where you will see local produce and meet some of his sukis (favorite vendors). He will point out unique seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as some local snacks and refreshments. There is even an area with stalls showcasing unique food products from different regions of the Philippines. You will walk through the market and stop at a few stalls to buy ingredients before heading to Casto’s home for your cooking class.

Notes: Casto only serves a vegan or vegetarian meal. Please inform him of your preference as well as any other dietary restrictions. You will also be asked to take your shoes off when you enter his apartment, as this is a part of the Filipino tradition that embodies respect for the owner of the house.

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.
  • Welcome drink: salabat (ginger tea) or calamansi juice (local lemonade)
  • Welcome snacks: local banana chips or pan de sal bruschetta
  • Family-style entrees: paksiw na langka (sweet and savory jackfruit stew), beetroot kilawin (roasted beet "ceviche"), adobong talong (eggplant braised in a soy and vinegar reduction)
  • Dessert: soymilk panna cotta with mango jam and ube (purple yam) shortbread

Traveler reviews

Casto is a great conversationalist and there was never a dull moment with him. He was generously sharing his experiences while doing a cooking demo. Denise and I think that he is an old soul because he is young but has a lot of experience up his sleeve! We admire how Casto expresses his individuality and his vibrant personality is evident in how he presents himself. We loved what he served us for lunch. We are not vegans but we really enjoyed the food. He served us 3 dishes, 2 of which are a little sour, and the other has a rich taste of garlic and mushroom which really complemented the taste of the whole meal.
- Traveling Spoon Ambassador s, Cherry and Denise

Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$40 $30 Not offered
Cooking Experience + Meal
$48 $40 Not offered
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$64 $54 Not offered
Alcohol
$9 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$40 $30 Not offered
Cooking Experience + Meal
$48 $40 Not offered
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$64 $54 Not offered
Alcohol
$9 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
12:00pm-2:00pm 7:00pm-9:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
11:00am-2:00pm 5:30pm-8:30pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
10:00am-2:00pm 4:00pm-8:00pm
FAQ

    You can cancel your experience 48 hours or more before your experience date and receive a full refund. To request a cancellation once you have made a booking simply log in and click the "Request Cancellation" link from the bottom of your booking. Your refund will be processed immediately (note it can take up to 10 business days for this refund to post to your credit card statement). Please note that for cancellations within 48 hours of your experience we unfortunately cannot offer a refund; this is because our hosts typically purchase food and begin their preparations up to 48 hours before the experience.

    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.

    If you have a question about an experience, create a reservation and include your note in the field "Write a note to your host". Once you request a booking you can continue to message your host directly to ask any specific questions. You can always cancel your booking and receive a full refund as long as you cancel 48 hours in advance.

    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, but otherwise all prices are per person. Children aged 5-11 are 50% off, and infants aged 0-4 are free.

    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.

    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").

    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.

    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.