EP 16: Making Ulam: The Movie With Alexandra Cuerdo

As a journalist, I've long had a love affair with documentaries that bring untold stories to life - particularly if they’re about food! So when I learned about a Filipino food documentary called “Ulam: Main Dish”, I knew I had to chat with its director and find out more. Alexandra Cuerdo is a California-raised, New York-based filmmaker who graduated from the UCLA Film School and has worked for places like Buzzfeed. In this episode, Alexandra (or Allie) and I talk about Filipino restaurants, chefs and Filipino food culture in North America - and why community support is vital for the restaurants featured in her film.

There’s no better way to tempt your (visual) tastebuds than with “Ulam”!

Show notes

02:40 A story about avocados
06:45 About Allie
07:20 Growing up in California
10:30 A longing for home
13:00 The question of authenticity
14:25 Food as the gateway to culture
15:50 Social dynamics around shared meals
17:15 "Amboy"
19:00 A need to keep building
20:15 "Will Filipinos go to Filipino restaurants?"
21:15 The power of personal experience
23:05 Letting people tell their stories
25:00 Supporting a new, creative generation
26:25 "Food is a personal subject"
27:05 An introduction to who we are

Links for this episode

  • Visit ulamthemovie.com to check out the trailer for “Ulam: Main Dish”, learn about featured chefs/restaurateurs in the film and find links to stellar reviews from the New York Times and more. Also to get tickets to film screenings across the US and Canada!

  • Learn more about Allie’s work on her website.

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