Tagalog word:
(noun) corner; place where two streets meet;
to reference a location of an event or venue; 

"KANTO," in Pittsburgh, are gatherings at different
locations curated by Chef Rafael Vencio with a
seasonally driven menu for each occasion. 


Growing up in the Philippines helped influence my views on food and flavors, both as a chef and enthusiast. Training under two outstanding chefs taught me the foundations of refined cooking and cuisine to develop my own style; a language that speaks of the food culture that I grew up and how my ideas have evolved. "Kanto" kitchen is my expression of this new found venture and the progression of my cooking. It's constantly changing and adapting to the resources available to me.

I started work in Pittsburgh, at the acclaimed Legume Bistro, and the rest was history. Here, I was able to explore American cuisine and the unique history of Pennsylvania cooking, with the rich background of preservation, foraging and natural fermentation. Later on, I opened my own business Aubergine Bistro at the restaurant incubator Smallman Galley to further develop my interpretation of contemporary American cuisine.

This dinner series reflects the maturity of my work and relationships I have nurtured through my involvement with food. From humble beginnings to farm dinners, my cuisine will always evoke the flavors I have adapted from living at different cities. Pittsburgh is the turning point of my growth as I embark on the next chapter of cooking. Looking forward to finding a permanent space in the near future.


Let's meet at  the "KANTO" of...


Wigle Barrelhouse!

July 28, 2017


Pierogie & Dumpling party! Complementary offering to the launch of the new Straight Malted Wheat Whiskey from esteemed distillery Wigle Whiskey!


Bar Marco!

July 31, 2017


Winner-winner, Chicken dinner! Fried Chicken is the focal point of the meal, accompanied by side dishes and cocktails to complete the experience. Expect some finger licking action at the table for sure!

Millvale Community Center!

August 19, 2017


Natural Fermentation Pickling Class - a collaboration between Tazza d'oro, this class will introduce the fundamentals of lacto fermented pickles to all levels of cooks and enthusiasts.

Pear & Pickle!

August 28, 2017


Pasta and Seafood dinner! Think of it like an Italian family gathering at a southern seafood boil party, what more can you ask for?!




September 18, 2017


A la carte menu and open table seating. Enjoy great company paired with sake and ramen. Locally sourced ingredients and hand-made noodles.


October 30, 2017


Get your pig on! Traditional Filipino-style Lechon in Pittsburgh. Whole pig slow roasted on a spit served family-style. 


Nose to Tail- Whole Pig Dinner!

Date to follow

Organic pasture raised pig by Goodness Grows Farm. Utilizing the whole pig, from nose to tail, in developing a menu.