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Short ribs and baby octopus may dominate many menus in the city, but that doesn’t mean local chefs can’t find love in an acorn squash. In our ongoing series, Chefs Veg Out, we’ll prove D.C.’s chefs can play with more than just meat.

  • NameOrlando Amaro
  • Title: Executive Chef
  • Restaurant: Station 4
  • Twitter: @Station4DC
  • Cooking Since: I started 19 years ago. My mom is a pastry chef and I grew up in the kitchen making all types of cookies. I was born in Venezuela, but grew up in Barcelona and went to culinary school in Mexico.
  • Random Fact: I’m a musician. I like playing the guitar and I used to play in nightclubs. My dad used to play piano, keyboards and drums. I grew up with music and I cook with music: Pink Floyd all day long.
  • Favorite Vegetable: Beets. You can play with beets in the summertime and winter and all year. I love that it’s sweet [with] natural sugar inside.
  • Least Favorite Vegetable: I never use in my kitchen: Boston lettuce. I love fresh and I love crunchy. [Boston lettuce] is too hard to keep fresh.
  • Memorable Meatless Dish: My grandmother is from Italy and she made eggplant parmesan.
  • Best Vegetable Dish at Station 4: Catalonia spinach: sauteed baby spinach with cumin and toasted peanuts.
  • Quick and Dirty Meatless Idea: I make a lot of squash. My daughter eats it every day, sauteed or grilled with peppers, yellow onions and marinated with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, thyme and sea salt. [Add that] with mixed vegetables and it’s like an antipasti.

Photo courtesy of Station 4