There is a certain kind of raw edge and hip vibe that is synonymous with food carts. Bangarang opened its mobile doors the first week of April, created by Dave and Amy Bodi, a husband and wife team joining talents to create a food cart that focuses on locally sourced high end dishes.
"For us it's always been a very specific idea that takes excellent local ingredients, a stimulating environment, the perfect location, and unsurpassed genuine service," says Chef Dave Bodi, whose credentials stem from the famous Le Cordon Bleu in Portland.
Supporting the chef is the wizard behind the curtain. Amy Bodi is the mastermind for all things design and the creator of the events services that Bangarang also offers. Though the couple dreams of opening a full service restaurant, and says this is still on the radar, they will wait to find the perfect space. The food cart is an inspired testing ground for the gourmet dishes. "I found myself looking for new inspiration," says Dave Bodi. "I was asking myself, 'Why can't a food truck act more like a restaurant and harbor our ethos?'"
The menu holds to his classic training, along with that of sous chef Nicholas Noren. Both work diligently to create and perfect the dishes that change with the seasons and availability of local ingredients. Currently on the menu for spring is a delightful strawberry port salad with
tawny port, fresh Oregon strawberries, a house ricotta, and crunchy toasted almonds to create a mix in texture as well as added nutrients. If something heartier is in mind, a chorizo is offered, a pork sausage atop crispy fried polenta, served with mustard greens and pesto. Favorites such as pork belly and gnocchi are also on the menu. Bodi and Noren succeed in bringing a depth of understanding to the delicious artistry of Bangarang's cuisine.
The sustainable path is something the Bodis feel is important, not just for themselves, but for the next generation as well, specifically for their son. Chef Bodi discusses the memories he had growing up, wandering the farmlands, floating the rivers in summertime and stopping at various farms to pick a snack of cherries off a tree or even peaches.
"These experiences helped to mold my thoughts and subsequent action to make me into the person I have become," he says. "I will do everything I can to preserve our farms and nature so that my son can have the opportunity to experience it the same."
One common issue arising in mobile cuisine is the predicament of waste. Bangarang, in its pledge to sustainability, uses fully compostable plates made from sugar cane fiber and steamed pressed palm leaves to reduce its carbon footprint.
With a view to the future, the Bodis say Bend is the perfect spot for ideas to take flight.
"This is a land of inspired entrepreneurs who lean on and help one another. The whole community is so supportive of unique individuals and I feel it has set an example of what a community can aspire to become," says Dave Bodi.
542 NW Arizona Ave., Bend
Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Events services: 541-968-8003