Emmy Award-winning Chicago Restaurateur Billy Dec adventures through his mother’s native 7,641 Islands of the Philippines to learn recipes from his last living elders, confronting culinary and cultural treasures and family secrets.
Food Roots gives viewers the opportunity to accompany Dec by plane, boat, motorcycle, jeepney, and foot, as he searches through bustling metropolitan cities, tiny remote islands, and hidden cloud-scraping mountain villages to find his family members. He climbs a mountain to meet with a 103-year-old tribal tattoo master, where she blesses him with a tattoo related to his ancestral connection. Through the ups and downs of the trip, Dec gains a deeper understanding of his family history, along with an elevated appreciation for how food has shaped their view of the world.
We chatted with director Michele Jouse and subject Billy Dec about Food Roots, discovering one’s heritage, their favorite Chicago films, and more.
Screenings & Events
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- Apl.De.Ap, Ronnie del Carmen, Becky Magura, Mike McNamara,
- Marcos Durian, Chino Neri, Julian Rodriguez
- Billy Dec, Leilani Castro, Celia Bumanglag-Dec, Stacey Efstathiou, Michael Morales, Rosario Sta.Ana, Kalel Demetrio, Roberto Bumanglag, Nora Bumanglag, Lisa Leofando, Pilar Sangalang, Oscar Bumanglag, Nora Bumanglag Carasi, Apo Whang-Od
- Nathan Matthew David
- Ronnie Del Carmen, Mike McNamara, Becky Magura, Apl.de.Ap, Michele Josue
- COACT Agency
Documentary Program Sponsors
Cynthia Stone Raskin