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Article: Farm to table with Buna

Farm to table with Buna

Farm to Table

A few weeks ago Pallavi Shantam, founder of Buna spent a glorious day with two young female entrepreneurs Bani Nanda of Miam Patisserie and Shruti Jain of Kaze Living dressed in breezy Buna dresses.

She chatted with them over some lovely food prepared by Bani, with organic produce from Shruti’s Kaze Living, sharing their thoughts and ideas on slow living in today’s fast life and how they incorporate these ideas into what they create.

Here are excerpts from the lovely conversations over food.

Farm to Table

Bani Nanda in Nora Lace Tunic

Bani Nanda:
1. What is the story behind Miam?
My love affair with Pâtisserie goes back to when I first experienced a taste of my mother’s delectable home made cakes. Armed with a degree in Physics, this rush eventually led me to Le Cordon Bleu, Paris. A tryst at Dalloyau, one of Paris’ oldest patisseries dating back over 400 years, brought out my passion for French pastries and desserts. Closer home, I worked at some of the most notable kitchens including The Oberoi, New Delhi, The Leela, Chanakyapuri & Hyatt Regency, New Delhi. After a very successful stint, MIAM was born, in a professional studio that I set up at home in 2015. I love experimenting with flavours and techniques and that is seen in all my products. I also enjoy teaching and host an array of baking workshops for aspiring Chefs/entrepreneurs.

Akshay Handa is the business head of MIAM. His background in business and growth hacking coupled with almost a decade worth of operational know-how made him the ideal fit for MIAM. We welcomed him into our team in 2018 and he played a pivotal role in setting up our flagship studio and café.

2. How was the past year for you? What were some of the challenges you faced?
The past year has been good despite the challenges the food industry faced due to the pandemic. We made sure to understand our customer's requirements and took utmost precautions. Unlike a lot of other brands, we decided to not downsize our team as every team member is valuable to us. It was a difficult decision but it's important to value your team and resources and be grateful and humbled for everything. 

3. What does slow living mean to you?
Slow Living is a conscious choice of being mindful and balanced in your life. 

4. How do you bring nature into your work?
We prefer using a lot of seasonal ingredients and we keep updating our menu. We love playing with natural and organic produce for all our products. 

5. What advice would you have for young bakers trying to break into the industry?
Our advice would be: "Find your distinct style and embrace that"

Farm to Table

Shruti Jain in Sunbeam Smock Midi Dress

Shruti Jain:
1. What inspired you to create Kaze Living?
I wanted to make "clean" food accessible. There's such beautiful produce being grown in and around the city, but back in early 2020, there was no easy way of getting it to your doorstep. Fresh, high-quality greens or premium handcrafted bread, chemical-free mushrooms or artisan cheese – locally grown foods like these were nowhere even on the radar. My goal was to create a one-stop shop that offers a curated selection of healthy food. That's how Kaze Living was born!

2. How was the past year for you? What were some of the challenges you faced?
It was surely a challenging year. I was fortunate enough to find myself in a collaborative environment at each level – from my team to the larger F&B industry. Being operational during the initial lockdown months was the toughest obstacle, so was ensuring the safety of my staff. I learned a lot from my peers and partners – founders of brands we work with, local farmers and chefs – who navigated each problem with us hand-in-hand. I'm proud of how Kaze Living has thrived in the past year and how I actually hired my entire team during this time.  

3. What does slow living mean to you?
It is all about being mindful of our choices and actions. It does sound a bit intimidating at first (my friends in Delhi would echo this), but in the past year, I am grateful to have worked with so many people who embody these values and have shown me how to live life simply and beautifully, how to be minimal and impactful. Now when I shop, I aim to pick pieces that I will cherish for a long time, clothes with comfortable cuts and a functional design. I am happy that we now have so many Indian labels like Buna that advocate a conscious lifestyle. 

4. What do you think are some processes one can adopt in their daily lives for cleaner and healthier eating?
Eat fresh, local, and seasonal. Choose plant-based. Know your farmer. Adopt zero-waste cooking. That's it! Once you start asking the right questions, one step leads to another and it is pretty easy. Be aware to eat clean, that's what I abide by! 

5. What is your one favourite recipe to make a dish from what you grow?
My go-to dish is sautéed vegetables. You can use almost every vegetable and leafy green available in your kitchen and the recipe is fuss-free. Chop the vegetables and the greens as you like and use all parts of the plant. In a large pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil/ghee/mustard oil (I never use refined). Add chopped garlic and a dry red chili; stir for 1 minute until golden brown. Add the vegetables and greens, sauté for a few minutes until they are cooked to your preference (I like them slightly crunchy). Season with salt, pepper, and herbs. You are done! This makes a great side with any meal and is the perfect dish for dinner when you want to keep it quick and light. 

Farm to Table

Pallavi Shantam in Laguna Co-ord Set

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