The Food Journal and Food, Nutrition & Science

An alliance between The Lempert Report and The Center for Food Integrity

In the Kitchen with Chef Ranveer Brar

In the Kitchen with Chef Ranveer Brar

In the Kitchen

December 28, 2008

Chef Ranveer Brar, 32, is the Executive Chef at banQ Restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts. Hailing from India, Brar started his career at the young age of 17 under the tutelage of a traditional kebob vendor. He then fine-tuned his skills as the Executive Chef of several high-end hotels, including The Claridges in New Delhi, before settling in Boston. The banQ menu, a blend of French, South Asian, Southwest Asian and Japanese influences, truly represents a fusion of Brar’s culinary education, experience, travels and creative flair.

What is the main focus of your cooking?

The main focus of my cooking is flavor balance and providing a global outlook to food, while at the same time keeping it understandable and relevant.

Is there a particular nutritional focus of your menus?

We believe in fast cooking methods, like wok tossing and stir frying, to maintain maximum nutrient retention.

What is your relationship with local farmers?

I am new to New England, so I have been in constant touch with local farmers to learn more about produce and local seasonal availability. I am learning every day.

Are you incorporating locally grown foods into your dishes? How?

We use a lot of Vermont cheese in our food. We use chevré in our signature beet salad, and cheddar to glaze our winter vegetable tarte tatin.

What are the major concerns today of your patrons when it comes to dining out? And how are you addressing them?

The freshness of our ingredients is a major concern. So is value for money in this economy. The customer does not want to take a risk, so they often order familiar food off the menu. We address this concern by offering the familiar and adding a unique spin to each dish.

What steps does your restaurant take toward conservation?

We have a clear policy on conservation. Even before we opened, we only had energy and water efficient equipment installed. We recycle all back-of-the-house paper, if any. It’s also a dictum that we do our internal communication by email, including notices and memos. All our floors and tables are made from recycled bamboo.

How important is traceability?

Traceability lends the power to diagnose and improve, and helps us avoid repetitive mistakes. In the food business, traceability gives us an edge, allowing us to monitor food hygiene so, in the off chance of foodborne illness, pathogens can be tracked to the source.

How important is sustainability?

For any business, sustainability is key. Sustainability ensures a secure tomorrow in the food industry. As we learned in culinary school, the practical chef always succeeds. These days, it is practical to go green. It’s good for business and good for the Earth.