#EpicureSeries: Matthew Pelopero of El Flaco


El Flaco is a newly-opened Filipino-Arab-Mex food place along Libertad Street in Jaro. It looks and taste “unusual” because of the different food range being introduced by this place. It is far from the sweet-Ilonggo delicacies or soup-based batchoy or molo offers.

This place will take you to the other side of Asia and the world. Let us all meet together “Fluffy” one of the creative and fearless minds behind El Flaco.

Please share something a little about Matthew.

Hello! My name is Matthew Pelopero. 25 years of age. I took up Information Technology at Central Philippine University. I was born and raised in Kuwait alongside with my brother who helps out in the restaurant.

matthew pelopero

My hobbies are experimenting on food, movies and T.V series, participating in random healthy with friends and gym. (Yes, I’ve been going to the gym, stop laughing).

With all the food places to compete in Iloilo, how do you keep your menu and offers exciting?

I have been interested recently in playing around with my eating habit by incorporating being a flexitarian to slowly transitioning to eat whole food plant-based meals. We sometimes experiment in the restaurant with whatever we can find and create something new.

el flaco falafels

Well I really want to bring out “limited edition” fusion foods consisting of Filipino-Arab-Mex sort of theme. So maybe tacos with a twist, more sauces to come and mix and match with and of course I wouldn’t leave out vegan options for those who have a different lifestyle.

What are some of the biggest challenges you have encountered and what did you learn from them?

Everything was a challenge in the first month because I have no knowledge at all about handling a business and I just wanted to cook that’s all. I was scared to open; I had a lot of “what ifs” in my head. I was so nervous. I couldn’t sleep and eat properly. But with the help of my partner/mentor Nike Jucaban, I learned a lot, from financial to operations and figuring the right system in different situations. But I am still on a learning process and every day is always a lesson for me to look forward to.


What is the biggest fulfillment you have in having this business venture?

That majority of my target audience approved of the Kebab, Falafels especially the Shawarma tasting as close as the ones they have back home in the Middle East.

el flaco iloilo

Any final message of advice you can share to someone who is dreaming about having a restaurant or food place.

Don’t stay limited to what you can do. Always learn something new, may it be a new skill or what. Be coachable. DON’T BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT HAHA!

To have an additional virtual tour of their food and menu, please visit may full post about El Flaco.


Sheila is a digital marketing enthusiast. She is a kdrama fan, a dog person and a certified foodie!

2 thoughts on “#EpicureSeries: Matthew Pelopero of El Flaco

    1. Yes! Everything in the menu is worth a try. Very distinct and valuable of every peso you spent. 🙂

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