|Chicken wings. Photo from the Chef Diego's Lord of the Wings Facebook page
MANILA, Philippines – Most Filipinos remember Diego Castro as either a former young star, or the son of the late broadcast journalist Angelo Castro Jr.
But did you know that Castro is also a chef and restaurateur?
Late last year, Castro and his wife opened the Chef Diego’s Lord of the Wings restaurant, a play on the hit novel and movie “The Lord of the Rings”. It has a stall at the e-Cuisine Food Plaza at Eastwood City, and a diner at Maginhawa Street in Quezon City.
The restaurant was initially meant to offer steak and burgers, but Castro realized that there was a bigger market for chicken wings, a very popular treat among Filipinos today.
“The original concept is a full diner, it was actually based on recipes from my dad, like burgers and steaks,” he said in an interview on ANC’s “Shop Talk”.
“We decided to test the market first and we chanced up on a slot in Eastwood,” he added. “And we realized that we cannot do burgers and steaks there, so we opted with wings.”
Lord of the Wings currently serves chicken wings with six types of sauces – Soy Korean, Fiery Soy Korean, Honey Barbecue, Smoky Barbecue, Spicy Buffalo and Honey French.
Castro said they are planning to add 14 more flavors to the menu in the coming months.
“We decided to develop 21 flavors… and you can have it with the leg, the thigh, the breast, we can offer that,” he said.
Prices are lower at the Lord of the Wings food stall, which is frequented by office workers. A two-piece wing meal with rice, for instance, is sold for only P65.
At the diner, dishes such as pizza and burgers cost between P190 and P250.
“Most of these came from his book which I played around with,” Castro said of the dishes, referring to his late father.
Asked to give advice to budding food entrepreneurs, he said: “[Your food business] is like a baby. Challenges always come. I think the greatest is how you manage your inventory. That’s where the bulk of your capital goes to.”
He added: “I’ve always followed by dad’s mantra, ‘shoot now, aim later’, in the food business. Especially in the food business, it’s always fast-paced. If you’re behind by a minute or two, other players would’ve come up with your idea. If you feel and you believe in that idea, go for it, then adjust later on.”