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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: Rick Bundy
  • Title: Chef
  • Restaurant: Red Derby
  • Twitter: @RedDerby
  • Cooking Since: For over 27 years. I started in Houlihan’s in Chevy Chase, Maryland. (I was Employee of the Year which lead me to a certain work ethic that you live your life by.) And I’ve been at Red Derby since its beginning.
  • Random Fact: I love detailing cars. I have an old 1990 Volvo 740 and I’m restoring it to its original beauty. It has well over 300,00 miles on it, so it’s a classic. The ride is impeccable.
  • Favorite Vegetable: Broccoli. It’s the most healthy vegetable, in my opinion. I love quiche with broccoli and omelets with broccoli.
  • Least Favorite Vegetable: Asparagus. I can’t stomach it. It has an awkward flavor. It’s healthy as hell, but it’s just awkward as hell. That, and okra.
  • Memorable Meatless Dish: Mushroom por salute pie by Chef Cornell Coulon. He made it as one of his specials at the Jury Hotel (then Dupont Grille.) It’s a fantastic dish with three different types of mushrooms: portobello, wild, and shiitakes. And, God, child, when it comes out, it’s baked to perfection.
  • Best Vegetable Dish at Red Derby: My vegetarian sandwich that I created: I make my own boursin with cream cheese and herbs and garlic. It takes a day to set and then I spread that over multi-grain bread, with arugula, avocado, sprouts, tomato and my own special seasonings. (Q: Can you tell me what’s in your special seasoning? A: [Laughs.])
  • Quick and Dirty Meatless Idea: Vegetable lasagna. I can do that with one arm and two toes. It’s ricotta, spinach, milk, cream, a little noodles, pureed tomatoes, herbs and spices. Top with a layer of mozzarella cheese and bake it on down. The key is, upon cooking, to allow it to set and get it coagulating together. My big thing is it should have its full form. Like a delicate woman, she’s fully formed.

Photo courtesy of Red Derby