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Menu Talk with Pat and Bret

Restaurateur Billy Dec explores his food roots in new documentary

The operator of Sunda New Asian restaurants and other concepts delves into his Filipino heritage


Billy Dec is a longtime restaurateur and entrepreneur, mostly in Chicago, where his Rockit Ranch Productions operated a number of concepts, but now he is expanding to new markets and focusing, as much as Dec ever focuses, on Sunda New Asian, a festive restaurant that celebrates his Filipino heritage.

He also has a nightclub called The Underground, an advertising agency called COACT, and the human resources firm HR Pro.

Dec is actually a lawyer by training, something he says certainly doesn’t hurt when it comes to running restaurants, and he has long been involved in raising the profile of Asian Americans. He was on President Obama’s White House Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, as well as the White House Bullying Prevention Task Force.

He also is an on-camera personality, having been a frequent guest on morning shows and appearing in a variety of films and television programs, and he just released a documentary, Food Roots, that debuted in September at the Nashville Film Festival.

Dec recently discussed that film, his heritage, his adjustments during the pandemic, his new Sunda location in Tampa, and his plans for the future.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

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