Rising Star Chef Alvin Cailan of eggslut - Biography

Los Angeles, CA

September 2019

Alvin Cailan grew up in Los Angeles in a Filipino household, and to keep him out of trouble, Cailan’s parents got him a job washing dishes at a retreat house. By the time he was a senior in high school, Cailan was cooking and rose to kitchen manager.

In a brief but fortuitous detour from food, Cailan studied business at California State University and landed a job with a construction firm. The company turned out to be crooked, and in return for keeping tight-lipped about the funny business, Cailan’s bosses let him go with two years severance. He took the windfall and enacted the culinary career plan of his dreams.

Cailan went to the Oregon Culinary Institute and traveled to Europe, staging at Mugaritz and Noma. Stateside, Cailan staged at Castagna, Olympia Provisions, Bouchon, The French Laundry, Spago, and Hatfield’s. After graduation, Cailan cooked at Portland’s Ten-01, before returning to California for a position at MB Post—where he cooked a lot of eggs.

Putting all his eggs in one concept, Cailan opened Egglsut as a pop-up. Wildly successful, Eggslut is now a cornerstone of L.A.’s Grand Central Market with additional locations in Venice, Glendale, and Las Vegas. In 2014, Cailan won a StarChefs Rising Stars award for the concept. Since, Cailan launched concept incubator Unit 120, which is now the permanent location of Filipino spot Lasa. In New York, Cailin opened The Usual, serving American comfort food cooked by the children of immigrants with a stellar wine list from Sommelier Anthony Cailan, his brother.