Monday, May 26, 2008

Help the Burmese by Eating

"Hmm..." you're thinking. "How can I help people who are starving and in need of disaster relief by eating? Seems contradictory."

Well, lucky for us Bostonians, it's not. If you're one of the thousands who receive the email newsletter Daily Candy, you no doubt noted the mention of the relatively new restaurant BanQ's fundraiser for the Burmese disaster. However, true to Daily Candy fashion, the listing was a bit scant on details, so I took it upon myself to contact the restaurant to find out a little more.

And what I found out is pretty cool.

BanQ serves French-Asian fusion cuisine (oo-la-la!). The owners of BanQ, Hemant Chowdhry and Mark Raab, and the chef, Ranveer Brar, were anxious to help Burmese cyclone victims because of the affinity they feel with Burma as the link between the Indian subcontintent (Chowdhry and Brar are Indian) and Southeast Asia. So, they came up with a special dish - spicy halibut wrapped in a banana leaf for which Chef Brar used the Burmese guiding principles of simple food with tropical influences. Proceeds from the dish, which will be on the menu at $26, will go to CARE International.

Why CARE? According to the BanQ newsletter, "Because CARE International has been working for 14 years in Burma (renamed Myanmar by the ruling junta), it has been successful in bypassing the aid backlog and getting immediate help to those affected."

CARE officials report that its 500 workers in the country are focusing on providing clean water and sanitation, distributing rice and high-energy biscuits, and assembling family kits containing blankets, plastic sheeting, clothes and kitchen and hygiene items. CARE will work in coming months to help the Burmese re-establish farming and small businesses."

Sounds like a win-win situation - you can kill two birds with one stone. You order the spicy halibut to satiate your hunger, and the profits are sent to CARE, fulfilling your desire to help but perhaps your lack of an appropriate outlet. There is no reported upper limit to the amount BanQ will donate or how long this dish will be offered - so go often, and enjoy.

For more information about BanQ, read the glowing reviews on Yelp or visit the South End restaurant's website.

Don't forget to vote daily for the Volunteer Boston Blog as the "Best Hobby Blog"!

Related Posts:
Tornadoes, Cyclones, and Disaster Relief - Oh My!; Myanmar cyclones and what you can do to help; Champions of a Cause

Photos courtesy of BanQ.


Brett said...

Great blog, now i known I'm up against a whole city i don't feel to bad about losing. If you ever want a picture of Kep I'm sure he would love to do a personal appearance.

Casey said...

If only the whole city of Boston knew about our blog!

Kep is adorable, if he ever performs any humanitarian-ish deeds we will certainly cover them in our blog. :-)

Casey said...

Google is matching donations: Google and Myanmar Cyclones