The Filipino Food Movement Finds its Place in the Mainstream in “ULAM”

The Filipino Food Movement Finds its Place in the Mainstream in “ULAM”

Toronto, Canada – “ULAM”, a critically-acclaimed documentary by Filipina director Alexandra Cuerdo on the rise of the Filipino food movement in the United States will have its Toronto premiere screening on November 12, 2018 at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. The special screening is organized by the Reel Asian Film Festival as part of its 2018 festival programming, Eatable Films and Hot Docs.

In the last few years, Filipino food has been touted as the Next Great American Cuisine, and while Filipino restaurants across the continent have drawn fans of all backgrounds, Filipino food has remained at the margins, perpetually on the verge of breaking into the mainstream – until today. There has been a recent wave of Filipino restaurants making their marks in the American culinary industry.

“ULAM” features the Filipino chefs and restaurateurs leading the charge of the exploding Filipino food movement that is finally gaining momentum. Why is it only now that Filipino cuisine is getting the widespread recognition it deserves? “ULAM” asks just that, positing that today’s Filipino gastro-visionaries are here to stay.

“Filipino food is truly having a moment,” remarks Senior Trade Commissioner Maria Roseni Alvero.

“There are so many talented chefs that are able to push the Filipino soul food, an amalgam of eastern (Malay and Chinese) and western (Spanish and American) influence, to new and innovative levels of refinement and creativity. We are thrilled for this opportunity to not only celebrate the talent of the Filipino American chefs making their mark in the United States, but to also recognize the undeniably talented Filipino Canadian chefs and food purveyors here in Toronto.”

The special screening of “ULAM” aims to put a spotlight on Filipino cuisine by allowing movie-goers to experience Filipino food for themselves. Guests will be treated to cocktails and dinner by LAMESA Filipino Kitchen, served as they watch the documentary, giving them a truly multi-sensory introduction to Philippine cuisine. Movie-goers will also have the opportunity to win a round trip ticket from Toronto to Manila via Philippine Airlines, allowing them to experience Filipino food and culture first-hand.

The screening of “ULAM” in Toronto comes at a time of widespread acceptance of diversity and multiculturalism, and a growing curiosity about Filipino food. From the rising popularity of many Filipino restaurants all over the Greater Toronto Area, to the novelty of kamayan feasts, to the excitement surrounding the arrival of Jollibee – there has never been greater awareness of Filipino food and culture in the city. Perhaps, this is the beginning of the phenomenon of the Filipino food movement finally spreading to Canada.

“There is growing interest in Filipino cuisine from not only inside the Filipino community, but in the mainstream. “ULAM” is a testament to that,” says Alvero. “It is about time that Filipino food finally gains the same recognition and becomes enjoyed at the same levels as other internationally embraced Asian cuisine.”

Tickets to the Toronto premiere screening of “ULAM” are available exclusively at Hot Docs ( The promotional code ULAM can be used for tickets at discounted price.

For any inquiries regarding this event, please contact the Philippine Trade Office at

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