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Ulam: Main Dish the Movie

June 19, 2019. Myer Horowitz Theatre

ULAM: Main Dish is a food documentary following the rise of the Filipino food movement via the chefs crossing over to the center of the American table. Directed by Alexandra Cuerdo.

Pre-screening reception with Filipino food sampling and a post-screening panel discussion. Gift packs from Mama Sita's seasonings.

Panelists: Graham Hicks (journalist, "Weekly Dish" restaurant review);

Juan "JP" Dublado (Chef de Cuisine, SC at River Cree);

Jaimie Balmores (highly successful Jeepney JayTee);

Edgar Gutierrez (Red Seal Chef; Chef & Owner - Tres Carnales, Rostizado & Kanto); Ronaldo Abat (Executive Chef, Max's Restaurant)

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Could it be that Filipino food, the underdog of Asian cuisines, is having its moment at last?” — THE NEW YORK TIMES

In this delicious new documentary, Filipino-American filmmaker Alexandra Cuerdo answers this question — and follows the rise of Filipino food via the award-winning chefs crossing over to the center of the American table. ULAM: Main Dish stages this new culinary movement as not only a remarkable achievement for American restaurateurs, but also as a validation of Filipino culture. The film confronts issues inherent in representing both Filipino and American identity, and challenges from both the Filipino community and the world at large. Ultimately, ULAM is a celebration — and confirmation — that Filipino food, and Filipinos, are here to stay.

Official Selection:

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival, Launch Program – World Premiere

2018 Hawaii International Film Festival – Spring Showcase
2018 San Diego Asian Film Festival – Spring Showcase
2018 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
2018 CAAMFest
2018 Asian American International Film Festival – Closing Night


If cooking is a vehicle for memory, for many Filipinos the dishes of their heritage are inseparable from days of celebration.

- Ligaya Mishan, The New York Times

This is the Filipino food moment — I think we can all agree on that.

- Jonathan Gold, Restaurant Critic, Los Angeles Times

How Filipino food is becoming the next great American cuisine. ... Often called the original fusion cuisine, Filipino food is an intricate pattern of Spanish, Western, Chinese, Japanese, and Pacific Islander flavors that serve as living proof of the country’s rich cultural history. 

- Claudia McNeilly, Vogue

4 out of 5 stars - 'Smashing' ... ULAM is now one of the "top 5 food documentaries to watch. Well worth viewing.

- Stark Insider: Filipino Food Has Finally Arrived: First Time Director's Documentary Reminds Us Why

Ulam is not only a triumph for Cuerdo but one for the entire Filipino community. It leaves your mouth watering for the vibrant flavors but most of all a longing to experience the lively spirit that exists within their community.

Film Inquiry: Ulam (Main Dish): Best Served with Heart

In fact, Ulam is not just about food. It also pays tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit, which is very cool.

- Unseen Films: SFFilm '18: Ulam (Main Dish)

This Film about Filipino Restaurants will Leave You Hungry for More - Buzzfeed

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