Ep. 22: AC Boral - Pop-up Chef and Food Coma Specialist


Chef AC Boral (Long Beach, CA) is the creator of the RICE & SHINE Pop-up Brunch Series.  Previously a graphic designer, AC began hosting his popular brunches on the West Coast featuring Brunch classics with a Filipino-American flair as a way of introducing guests to the feelings and flavors he grew up with.   From RICE & SHINE (Filipino-American Brunch Party) to Naks Tacos (exploring the culinary connection of the Philippines and Mexico) to concept menus like a Wu Tang Clan tribute dinner, AC has fed thousands across the country and center around the Family and our shared identities as diners.

In this episode we talk about:
* His thoughts on Filipino-American cuisine and how food relates to identity, 
* How to find inspiration from mentors andfamily, 
* The nuances of creating a brand and identity by experimenting with various concepts,
* Using food to educate folks on culture, and
* The darker side of cooking including the importance of self-care in dealing with the grueling physical and mental challenges.

Grab a steaming bowl of white rice, plop some Longganisa and Egg on it, douse it all with Vinegar and enjoy my convo with Chef AC Boral.


The American Brunch experience meets Filipino hospitality and flavors at RICE & SHINE.

Filipino hospitality means that guests eat well, always leaving the table busog ("full") and with even MORE food to take home. Everyone’s treated like family and becomes family.

RICE & SHINE takes traditional Filipino dishes and blends them with American Brunch. We want to share the culture and history of Filipino cuisine with those who are unfamiliar while offering something fresh for those who grew up eating it. “If ya don’t know, now ya know.”

At its core, Filipino cuisine is food for the soul. The spirit behind RICE & SHINE is to pay tribute to Filipino food tradition.


5:00 - AC circa 2013 // On Finding Identity
    *Dale Talde of Talde, Park Slope
    *Eddie Huang (Fresh Off the Boat)
    *Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad of Maharlika & Jeepney
9:30 - Filipino-American Cuisine in 2013 // On Shame
12:00 - AC’s definition of Filipino(-American) Food
14:20 - Dining in the Boral household
17:20 - Methods of Learning // On Finding Drama
    *The Filipino Jeepney
23:45 - A Brunch in Three Acts // AC's Brunch Menu
25:30 - The moment AC decided to go into food // Writings on the back of a server cheque
28:20 - "Mise En Place": The one skill a pop-up chef needs to be successful
32:30 - On finding partnerships and being selective
35:15 - On finding Identity // AC’s various meal concepts
37:30 - On the importance of Education and Context
    *Salamat Po (AC’s Dinner concept)
44:45 - On dealing with pushbacks and criticism
48:00 - On the importance of Self-care // The darker physical and mental challenges of cooking
57:30 - What’s next for AC

Rapid Fire with AC
Most Influential Person: AC's Dad + Charles Olalia of Rice Bar
Most Useful Cooking Tool Purchased: Rose-shaped Silicon Molds for making Rose-shaped Putos
3 Ingredients That Describe AC: Pasta (Angel Hair), Rice (Garlic), French Fries ("Some days I’m Curly, some days I’m Tater Tots, most days I’m Crinkle Cut")
Resource for the Common Person: Chef's Table Season 3, Episode 1: Jeong Kwan (available on Netflix)
If AC's Life Story was written in one sentence: "When you're here, you're Family"

People Referenced:
Amy Besa of Purple Yam
Yana Gilbuena of the SALO Series
Charles Olalia of Rice Bar
Justin Garrido of Social Products
Timpla DC
Filipino Kitchen
The Filipino Food Movement

Food Referenced:
Chilaquiles - Mexican breakfast staple of Tortillas simmered in sauce and topped with meat
Ensaladang Kamatis - Filipino Tomato Salad
Sinangag Filipino Fried Rice
Longganisa Scotch Egg - Chef AC specialty
Kare-Kare - Filipino Oxtail-Peanut Butter Stew
Embutido - Filipino “Meatloaf”
Adobo - arguably the Philippines’ national dish of meat or vegetables stewed in vinegar
Pansit - Filipino Noodle dish
Ube - Purple Yam native to the Philippines used to make jam (Halayang Ube)
Ginataang Gulay - Filipino dish of vegetables cooked in coconut milk
Bibingka - Filipino Rice Cakes usually enjoyed during Christmas
Gai Lan - Chinese Brocolli
Vaca Frita - Cuban dish of fried, shredded Beef
Ragu - Meat Sauce
Turo-turo - Filipino-style restaurants where you point at what you’d like from various options (turo means “to point”)
Leche Flan - Caramel Custard
Puto - Steamed Rice Cake…also a curse word

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Website: RiceandShineBrunch.com
Facebook: Chef AC Boral // Rice & Shine Brunch
Instagram: Chef AC Boral // Rice & Shine Brunch