12 January 2024

Five minutes with Mr and Mrs Pastor, Shepherd's Hub

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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family in food truck kitchen

Joz, Maricel and Perlito Pastor inside their food van. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Who are Maricel and Perlito Pastor?

Perlito – I was born and raised in the Philippines. In 2004, I started working as a chef on a cruise ship, and in 2010, I was hired by one of Woolworths’ hotels. I moved to Wagga with my family. It has always been my passion to be a chef, and I dreamt of owning a restaurant. That [Shepherd’s Hub food van] was the only way to fulfil my dream. We opened Shepherd’s Hub in October of 2020.

Maricel – I’m also from the Philippines, the northern zone of Cagayan Valley near Manila, and I worked in pathology. After moving to Wagga, I continued working in pathology. I’m a designated trainer, I teach collecting, and I’m also a medical scientist. I help my husband run the business after work. We’ve got two boys, a 19-year-old and a 10-year-old. We love living in Wagga. We have everything here.

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Best recent dining experience: We went to Giuseppe’s Restaurant & Bar.

Favourite cuisine:

Perlito – I like Indian.
Maricel – I like Japanese and Italian.

The ingredient I cannot live without:

Perlito – I can’t live without chillies.
Maricel – I don’t know much about cooking. I just eat. I love sweets, so sugar.

food truck fare

Shepherd’s Hub is also available on Menulog. Photo: Shepherd’s Hub.

Most embarrassing pantry/fridge item:

Perlito – We’ve had soya beans in there for a long time. We were planning to make tofu with it but haven’t had the time to make it.

How many Weet-Bix I do:

Perlito – I have two.
Maricel – I eat a maximum of three.

Best coffee spot in Wagga:

Perlito – The Coffee Club.
Maricel – Beraldo Coffee in Kooringal.

Next big thing in the Wagga food scene: Wagga has everything, but I think it needs Filipino cuisine. We don’t have a Filipino restaurant. It’s only us, but we don’t have pure Filipino cuisine.

Favourite place to lunch in Wagga: We go to Tammy’s Thai. We go here for our lunch dates.

A must-try on our menu: The Philly cheese steak sandwich and steamed dim sims.

Most used ingredient at Shepherd’s Hub: Cheese.

Our top pick from our desserts: Leche flan. It’s a Filipino cream caramel custard.

Pork dumplings

Pork dumplings topped with chilli and garlic. Photo: Shepherd’s Hub.

My biggest culinary influence:

Perlito – It’s accidental for me. Cooking was far from what I studied, but because I kept cooking all the time, it became a passion.
Maricel – With cooking?
Perlito – Maricel doesn’t cook. She’s my queen and does all the paperwork for me.

Who I admire in the Wagga food and wine scene: The owners of Thaigga. They’ve got two branches already. Every time we went there for lunch, I saw them being hands-on, and the way they treated their employees was very good.

This week’s specials at Shepherd’s Hub: When we do our specials, it’s the chicken curry. We will post it on Facebook to let people know.

Smoky barbecue ribs

Smoky barbecue ribs. Photo: Shepherd’s Hub.

Death-row meal:

Perlito – That’s a bit tricky. I’ll have pork adobo (pork slices cooked in soy sauce, vinegar and garlic). It’s the most famous dish in the Philippines. For a drink, I’ll have Jack Daniel’s.
Maricel – Pork sinigang. It’s pork and veggies with sour soup. And I’ll have a Moscato.

Where I am travelling to next: We’re going to the Philippines in two weeks for a month to visit friends and family.

Dream destination:

Perlito – Antarctica.
Maricel – I want to go to Jerusalem.


Shepherd’s Hub has plenty of delicious options on its menu. Photo: Shepherd’s Hub.

My biggest fear:

Perlito – Our biggest fear is that the business will not grow.
Maricel – Death.

My least-favourite food:

Perlito – I don’t like chocolates.
Maricel – I don’t like sour fruits and spicy dishes.

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My top-three cooking tips:

Perlito – Check the temperature, steam and blanch the food.
Maricel – Fry.
Perlito – Slowly frying and keep the fire down.
Maricel – That’s all I know.
Perlito – Because she burned herself already.
Maricel – I burned my whole arm and said I don’t want to cook anymore.

Shepherd’s Hub is at 57 Leavenworth Drive, Mount Austin, and is open Thursday to Saturday from 5 pm to 8 pm.

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