Q. Culinary school trained or self-taught?
A. No formal culinary education. Grew up cooking with Dad and several chefs have inspired me and mentored me since I decided to pursue this career in 2013.
Q. What is your favorite food from your childhood?
A. Dad’s friend chicken and spaghetti (best if consumed at the same time).
Q. What dish would you recommend to someone that has never experienced RICE & SHINE?
A. Scotch Egg with Tomato Salad and Garlic Rice; encompasses my style of cooking really well and pays tribute to traditional Filipino cuisine at the same time.
Q. Favorite knife and why?
A. Her name is “Sherri”. Shun Classic 7″ Santoku that I’ve had since 2007. My first good knife and I treated poorly at first but have grown to care well for.
Q. Ultimate fantasy meal – what, where and with who (living or dead)?
A. Stealing this from one of my best friends: Disposable plate and cutlery filled with all the different food from the buffet table at Filipino family parties growing up. Super nostalgia! And of course, I’d want my family and friends (living and dead) there with me. Basically, my ultimate meal is a family party that I went to every weekend when I was eight years old.
Q. Fun fact about yourself?
A. I went to college for theater. Ended college with advertising/public relations. Also went to massage school… I guess the “fun” fact is that I’ve changed my career goals more than five times.
Q. Your worst kitchen experience?
A. Tied: Getting fired at a catering event and prepping in two inches of standing water before a pop-up.
Q. What are your guilty pleasures?
A. Chicken Nuggets and Fries from MacDonald’s. And grocery store sushi.
Q. What do you like to do outside of work?
A. Hike, practice yoga, and watch movies. I’d say that in general, I like to get out of the city as much as possible.
Q. What’s on your Bucket List?
A. Travel to all 50 states, open a restaurant, and receive a giant check (like the ones on the Publisher’s Clearinghouse commercials).
Chef AC lives in Long Beach with a roommate in a two bedroom apartment near the Traffic Circle. “Still livin’ the bachelor life…”