Can Cook Cuisines - pop-up restaurant and personel chef services
Chef, Mario Tolentino
Born and raised in San Francisco, his love for food, and passion for travel have brought Tolentino to all corners of the U.S. and overseas in search of new cultures and cuisines. Trained in modern and classical cooking techniques, Tolentino’s “New American” cuisine is a mélange of flavors and styles inspired by his travels and experiences. Marrying his dynamic personality with his serious skills in the kitchen, Tolentino was recently featured on the Food Network’s popular cooking competition show, “Chopped.” Rising to this incredibly competitive and highly stressful occasion, Tolentino not only won his show (Season 4, Episode 2), but also was invited back for Chopped Champions, which aired September 21, 2010.

Mario is a WINNER of the popular cooking show CHOPPED on the Food Network. Watch it here!

Mario was featured on CHOPPED CHAMPIONS! Watch it here!

   After attending the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Tolentino spent the next 12 years traveling coast to coast, working with high caliber chefs in their award-winning kitchens. Tolentino began his career in Coral Gables, Miami at the mobil four-star restaurant Norman’s where he worked as garde manager under executive chef Norman Van Alken. Two years later, Tolentino returned to San Francisco to join AQUA (another Mobil Four-Star restaurant) as tournat under executive chef Michael Mina. In 2004, Tolentino went back to Florida and spent a year working as a one-man sauté station at Pacific Time in Miami Beach before returning to the now Michelin Two-Star restaurant AQUA, this time as corporate sous chef with Laurent Manrique.  After opening 3 restaurants with Manrique, the chef decided to make the move overseas to Barcelona, Spain, where he fully immersed himself into the culture and cuisine of the Catalan people. Taking advantage of his location in Spain, he toured many of the gastronomic centers of Europe

 Soon after, Tolentino moved to Kona Coast, Hawaii to embark on a new industry venture. There he founded Can Cook Cuisines, a personal chef business preparing residential dinners and events for some of the most high-end clientele including the Millionaires Club of the Kona Coast. He began with a simple set of goals: to create memorable dining experiences for clients in their own homes. Though his goals may be quite simple; there is nothing simple about his food. “I interpret cuisine in sophisticated, innovative ways,” said Tolentino. “My approach revolves around farm-to-table relationships, starting with seasonal produce, meats and seafood.” 

The hunger for restaurant life lured Tolentino to New Yok City where he worked at The iconic Oakroom in The Plaza hotel, and was then named Executive Chef of Juliet Supperclub, where he created a dynamic menu based on, international and ethnic style street food. Tolentino has been featured in, NY Times grub street, Eater, NY Post, AM NY, BlackBook magazine, Business Traveler, Village Voice……….and more!