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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.

  • Name: Ris Lacoste
  • Title: Chef/Owner
  • Restaurant: Ris
  • Twitter@risDC
  • Cooking Since: Some 30-odd years. I started when I was 12 in a polish market, Gorka’s. I sliced bologna, ground beef for burgers, helped the owner make kielbasi, helped customers, rang up orders and stocked shelves.
  • Random Fact: I love watching political news. I’m a talking head junkie.
  • Favorite Vegetable: Cabbage. It’s just delicious. It’s sweet and simple and it can be great in hot and cold applications. It can be soft, it can be crunchy. And it goes really well with my favorite condiment, Dijon mustard.
  • Least Favorite Vegetable: Raw cauliflower. Who eats it? Too cardboard-y.
  • Memorable Meatless Dish: Tomato sandwich on toast with butter. Heaven.
  • Best Vegetable Dish at Ris: Delicious homemade maltagliati pasta with tomato sauce with a hint of orange and pine nuts and Swiss chard and goat cheese. It’s very simple. It’s not recreating the wheel in any way, but its’ great.
  • Quick and Dirty Meatless Idea: One of my favorite combinations—yogurt, tomatoes, avocado, feta cheese, spinach, grilled red onion, really good olive oil and lime juice—I’ve since created a grilled pizza out of it.

Photo by Laura Padgett