An up and coming Nepalese chef who established himself in Ridgewood is going to be showcasing cuisine from the old country on Nov. 10 in the Greenmarket Bites series.
Chef Bikash Kharel has been spreading the word about Nepalese food since opening up While in Kathmandu on 758 Seneca Ave. in 2017 and takes after his father who also opened his own restaurant in Ridgewood upon moving to the states.
But it is his mother’s cooking which inspires him most, Kharel said.
“Really looking forward to sharing this unique dish inspired by my mother’s cooking,” Kharel said. “The fact that I’m serving this on my own block in Ridgewood, makes it even more defining in terms my journey of being a chef and representing my own city block.”
The Greenmarket Bites series will take place in three places in Queens with Kharel showcasing his recipes between 10 a.m. and noon at the Ridgewood Youthmarket on Cypress Ave, between Myrtle and Putnam Avenues.
Two other events are scheduled in the Greenmarket Bites series with Chef Hugue Dufour of M. Wells showing off his skills at the Long Island City Youthmarket at Center Boulevard and 46th on Nov. 3. Chef Alfonso Zhicay of Casa del Chef Bistro at the Jackson Heights Youthmarket at 34th Avenue and 79th Street on Dec. 2.
According to figures from the Ridgewood Nepalese Society, the southwestern pocket of Queens now has over 2,000 residents from the small Himalayan country with the main centers of the community being in Elmhurst, Woodside and Sunnyside.
Bed Kharel, Chef Bikash Kharel’s father, moved to Ridgewood in the early 2000s with his children following later and he eventually started his own restaurant under the moniker of Nepalese Indian Restaurant on Myrtle and Seneca Avenues in 2012.
In 2017, Bikash opened While in Kathmandu with the help of his family and has become known for breakfast specialties such as dumplings known as momos, a goat dish known as tass and buckwheat pancakes.
While in Kathmandu was the younger Kharel’s strategy for commercializing Nepalese food without having to rely on the demand for Indian food as a marketing channel.
Kharel stresses the differences between Nepalese food and Indian food, a somewhat related counterpart that the American public is much more familiar with.