Food Secrets of Prospect's Chef Ravi Kapur

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Ravi Kapur. Photo by April Dawn Storm
Ravi Kapur. Photo by April Dawn Storm

Prospect is the first restaurant where Ravi Kapur bears the title of Executive Chef. Before opening Prospect last year--which is often dubbed the "little sister" restaurant to Boulevard -- Kapur worked as Chef de Cuisine at Boulevard. Eight years of cooking there gave Kapur "a kinship" with his mentors Nancy Oakes and Pam Mazzola. Prospect is a San Francisco Chronicle 2011 Top 100 Bay Area Restaurant, and critic Michael Bauer recently detailed the Prospect savory courses he enjoys: “black cod with mild red curry; shiso shrimp fritters with shiitake mushrooms and snap peas; and crisp-skinned duck with glazed turnips, pickled grapes, pistachios and a rum-raisin puree.”

Kapur is from Kailua, Oahu, in Hawaii, and graduated from the California Culinary Academy in 1999. He has worked at kitchens such as Redwood Park with George Morrone and Michael Mina, as well as at Coyote Café in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Extensive travels include “eating like a local” in South East Asia.

Kapur lives in the Mission with his wife, April Dawn Storm. She is taking a break from working in real estate as she waits to deliver their first child any day now. “We met 13 years ago on Chestnut Street. I was working at Peet’s coffee while in culinary school, and she was working at City Optix. We happened to both be smoking out in front of the shops when she stuck her tongue out at me and I ignored her. We’ve been in love ever since.” Kapur shared his list of favored San Francisco Bay Area eating and drinking spots.

Food Shopping Favorites
San Rafael farmers’ market on Sundays. I go to the Ferry Building every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, but San Rafael is different. A bit more relaxed (maybe because I’m not working) and I can really take time and talk to the farmers at a more civilized pace.


I’m obsessed with lop cheong right now. So, to get that fix I head to Mow Lee & Co. on Commercial Street in Chinatown. It’s been open for over 150 years, and the cured duck products are amazing and inspiring.

Spanish Table: there’s always something cool over there and it’s a good reason to get out of the city, even just to the East Bay.

Ravi Kapur. Photo by April Dawn Storm
Ravi Kapur. Photo by April Dawn Storm

Off-night Food and Drink Spots:
For drinks, I go to Beretta religiously every Saturday night. It’s literally a block from my house and it’s like my neighborhood bar.

Incanto: Chris is a great friend and his food is always interesting, not just shocking. His pasta and veg work is on par with his skill with offal. I’m obsessed with the spaghetti (house extruded) with tuna heart and egg yolk. [This writer dined on camera in 2009 with Kapur, Anthony Bourdain, Harold McGee, Oscar Villalon and Tatiana Graf for a San Francisco episode of No Reservations].

NOPA: I know they don’t need anymore love, but I can’t help it. If it’s for brunch or dinner, I’m there almost every week for one of those, sometimes both! Sometimes they have Prather Ranch New York on the menu … and if they do, you gotta get it.

Guiltiest food pleasure?
Häagen-Dazs chocolate peanut butter ice cream is up there. I could crush a whole pint.

Any news on projects we should know about?
At present trying to focus all my energy towards Prospect to ready for my soon to be born son.

Address: Map
300 Spear Street (at Folsom Street)
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: (415) 247-7770
Hours: Mon.-Thu 5:30pm-10pm; Fri. & Sat. 5:30pm-10:30pm; Sun. Brunch 11am-2:30pm, Dinner 5:30pm-9:30pm
Twitter: @ProspectSF