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Cooking ube (purple yam) was one of my fondest memories growing up in the Philippines. My mom would put me in charge of stirring her ube mixture to ensure it didn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Similar to stirring a roux, this mixture needed constant attention. The end product was a creamy purple dessert called ube halaya. My childhood favorite. 

25 years later and 8,000 miles away, I’m still cooking with ube. Since introducing my ube cheesecake at our second pop up last October, it has resonated with so many people in a way we never imagined. For some, there’s a novelty in eating a familiar dish in an unusual color. For others already sold on ube, anything with ube in it is worth trying. For those who share my family’s story, there seems to be an understanding 

Ube, with it’s vibrant color and distinct yet versatile flavor, can be transformed into many things  - ube jam, ube candy, ube polvoron (short bread), ube cake, and even ube cheesecake. Adding it to a recipe seems like a simple idea, but I’ve found that it requires patience, precision and a little risk. But when it’s executed well, it can transform something ordinary into a memorable experience. More than just a color or a flavor, ube is the story of my family’s journey—one family of thousands—from the PI to the US. We’ve been transformed, but also, in the process, have transformed and left our mark on whatever new spaces we find ourselves in. 

This month, we decided to have a one item pop up - ube cheesecake - after selling out of it each month. If you’ve ever come to a previous pop up for the cheesecake and found yourself being told it’s sold out, this pop up is especially for you. Of course, we welcome all to try this murado (purple) goodness. 

We will have 100 slices of ube cheesecake available for purchase ($6 per slice) at Inay’s on Sunday, July 20th from 11am-2pm. 

Additionally, we are taking pre-orders of whole 6-inch ube cheesecakes ($32) for pick up at Inay’s during the pop up. Order online by Friday, July 18th at

Our pop-ups these last 10 months have been possible through the generosity of Inay’s owner Kuya Ernie Rios. We encourage everyone coming by to eat brunch/lunch at Inay’s on Sunday, July 20th, support the longest running (est. 1991) Filipino restaurant in Seattle, and get that purp.

- Chera