Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Ulam: Main Dish - 2019 SAAFF Movie Review

The Documentary: Ulam: Main Dish

The Director: Alexandra Cuerdo

The Story: The first food documentary following the rise of the Filipino food movement via the chefs crossing over to the center of the American table.

The Review:

Ulam: Main Dish is a visual buffet that will fill your senses with the wonders of Filipino foods. Seriously, you will run out of the theater looking for the nearest bowl of pancit or the biggest pile of lumpia you can get your hands on. Alexandra Cuerdo has officially opened the door to Filipino cuisine on a cinematic level and there is no going back. If you are not familiar with the fastest rising food cultures in America, you need to get on board quick because I believe it is going to be the next big thing.

The list of people below, along with the businesses they have worked with and established, are the subjects of the documentary and are the ones you want to get to know, especially if you would like to embark on a coast to coast culinary adventure. Look them up on the internet for more information.

Alvin Cailan: Egglsut, The Usual, AMBOY, Unit 120
Nicole Ponseca & Miguel Trinidad: Maharlika, Jeepney, Tita Baby's
Romy Dorotan & Amy Besa: Purple Yam, Purple Yam Malate
Johneric Concordia & Christine Araquel-Concordia: The Park's Finest
Charles Olalia: Ricebar, Ma'am Sir
Chase Valencia & Chad Valencia: LASA
Andre Guerrero: The Oinkster, Maximiliano, The Little Bear

(Taken from

Aside from the non stop barrage of mouth watering imagery put on display, Cuerdo also manages to tell a good story as she weaves together the backgrounds, accomplishments and dreams from each of the above mentioned chefs and business owners in a way that provides a lot of context as to where Filipino food comes from (I don't just mean geographically), how it is being adapted for a wider audience, and what the future holds for one of the most intriguing culinary categories you will ever stick a fork or chop sticks in to.

Ulam: Main Dish is an official selection of the 2019 Seattle Asian American Film Festival. coverage of the 2019 Seattle Asian American Film Festival.

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