Popular food blog FoodGPS sat down with Eggslut/Ramen Champ’s Alvin Cailan recently for a wide-ranging interview on everything from the rise of California’s minimum wage to his own penchant for hiring untrained cooks. Perhaps most interestingly, the two talk about Cailan’s upcoming plans for a third restaurant, a re-imagined diner concept called The Proper.
Here are a few key quotes from FoodGPS’s conversation with the rising chef.
On doing things the right way:
So many people are taking shortcuts and they’re doing so well. There are people like us, people who do everything from scratch, who have to pay extra in labor, who have to do the extra step to make the food taste good. It sounds so cheesy, but when people say, "I put a little extra love into it," it means I put a little extra effort into it.
Talent can come from anywhere:
Here at Ramen Champ, we had an amazing dishwasher. Now she runs our prep. Without her, I’d be screwed. I’d have to be here and at Eggslut at the same time. She’s amazing. She’s like a firecracker. She runs. Her sense of urgency is, "I have to get this done right away." It’s really hard to teach.
Cailan might just get back on a truck someday:
I think about it every single day because there’s something liberating about it. You can make specials and you can make food tailored to that part of the city. I like that.
Cailan goes on to talk about his first few months running the Eggslut truck, and even hints at details for The Proper, which will also open in Chinatown right next to the Gold Line. Describing it as an amazing breakfast, lunch and dinner spot, Cailan plans to bring on pastry chefs and a talented sous in David Kocab, a culinary school friend who’s been working in Cleveland of late. Expect fried chicken sandwiches, salads and, yes, breakfast sandwiches to boot.
Check out the entire interview here from FoodGPS.