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.

  • NameChristoph Marquette
  • Title: Executive Chef
  • RestaurantOne Lounge
  • Twitter: @oneloungedc
  • Cooking Since: I started in 1983 in a little French restaurant in Reicherstown (Maryland) at the Forrest Inn as prep cook and dishwasher. The first real notable position I had was at the Watergate with Jean-Louis Palladin.
  • Random Fact: I like to surf. I used to work and run restaurants in Ocean City (Maryland) and between service I would jump in the ocean and goof off.
  • Favorite Vegetable: Asparagus. I really like the flavor and the diversity of cooking techniques. I like it really simply: slightly blanched for just a minute or two.
  • Least Favorite Vegetable: Red potatoes. Because I spent so much time at the Watergate and the Mayflower tourneing those stupid things that I never want to see those things again. I spent most of my day cutting up vegetables, about 15-20 lbs of tourne potatoes a day.
  • Memorable Meatless Dish: Jeweled rice: blanched and shocked yellow tomato that was peeled, cored and stuffed with Arabic rice. It’s served at weddings throughout the Arabic world. It’s called jeweled because of the dried cherries, dried apricots and pine nuts. The tomato is turned upside down and put in a basil emulsion and garnished with a basil leave. This was a dish that one of the chefs taught me at Johnson and Wales.
  • Best Vegetable Dish at One Lounge: Asparagus French bean salad. Blanch and shock asparagus and green beans, then add teardrop tomatoes, fresh rosemary, and then toss in a red wine vinaigrette. Top with goat cheese and walnuts (toasted in a pan with cayenne and honey, then baked). There’s four colors and four different textures. Since cooking is something so very subjective, this dish maintains more of a mouthful than taste. Those four textures lighten up your mouth.
  • Quick and Dirty Meatless Idea: I don’t do much cooking at home, which makes my wife insane. But I will cook something simple like a vegetarian paella. I use orzo and raid my fridge for any fresh vegetables. Season with either a red vine vinaigrette or a basil vinaigrette (white balsamic, oil, honey, salt, pepper and basil) and end with chiffonade of basil.

Photo by Karllito Antonio