Learning, Laughter, and Good Food

Dedication to Culinary Excellence

The awards are piling up for Chef John Casto, who recently received a presidential medallion from the American Culinary Federation and led his Colorado chapter to win national recognition. Casto, Chef Manager for the Good Eating Company, was also named the foundation's 2022 Chef of the Year and was accepted into the American Academy of Chefs. He was recently presented with a Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award by the American Culinary Federation.

a couple of men standing next to each other holding a trophy.
a man with a moustache holding up a plant.
What's his recipe for success?

Dedication to his community, he says. "That's something I feel strongly about; staying involved with the community as much as I can," says Casto. Locally, he's helped teach low-income families how to cook nutritious meals at home and supports the employee business resource group for military veterans. He feeds homeless vets to honor his father, a Marine Corps drill instructor in the 1970s. "I felt it was important to honor his contribution," Casto says.

a person stirring a pot of food on a stove.
Beyond that, he's also a post-secondary instructor...

...at Pikes Peak State College in Colorado, where he teaches culinary fundamentals. He does it all while overseeing a chapter of the American Culinary Foundation, which started with local members in Colorado Springs but has since expanded to cover all of Colorado. He wants to bring back the chapter's Student of the Year and Educator of the Year awards as he finishes his last year as chapter president.

a group of people sitting around a table.
a trophy sitting on top of a table next to a plaque.
"That would be one of my crowning achievements if we could get that accomplished," Casto says.

He has served employees at a client location for seven years. His menu combines global and comfort food, including beef picadillo empanadas, shrimp Mozambique and falafel crab cakes. He's also learned to be resourceful in the kitchen, repurposing unused ingredients to keep the menu fresh.

At your service for seven years

"We don't get stuck on the challenges. We overcome them," he says.

"Anytime we have a hurdle come up in the community, we try to find a way to continue to do what we do."