Directed by: Alexandra Cuerdo 2017 | 80 min.

Section: HIFF Spring Showcase

Premiere: Hawaii Premiere

Countries: United States

Languages: English

Genres: Documentary, Food


“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.

The chefs featured in ULAM: MAIN DISH come from all walks of life — from Michelin-starred line cooks to high school dropouts, successful restaurateurs to first time shop owners. All are highly acclaimed by critics and customers alike, all trailblazers in the Filipino food movement. Through a series of one-on-one interviews, the film delves into their histories, asking about their families, where they’re from, who they are, what made them. We look at their stories, their sacrifices and what it takes to run a successful restaurant in two of the most competitive markets in the world: New York and Los Angeles.

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.



Tuesday, April 10 6:00 PM Dole Cannery C Date Passed
Wednesday, April 11 4:00 PM Dole A Date Passed

Cast & Crew

Director Alexandra Cuerdo
Producer Alexandra Cuerdo, Rey Cuerdo, John Floresca
Cast Christine Araquel-Concordia, Amy Besa, Alvin Cailan, Johneric Concordia, Romy Dorotan, Andre Guerrero, Charles Olalia, Nicole Ponseca, Miguel Trinidad, Chase Valencia, Chad Valencia
Cinematographer John Floresca
Editor Tayler Brasch
Writer Alexandra Cuerdo
Music Stephen Spies
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