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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: Chadae Rickett
  • Title: Sous chef
  • Restaurant: Kushi Izakaya & Sushi
  • Twitter: @eatkushi
  • Cooking Since: Eight years ago. “I went to Johnson and Wales [University] in Charlotte [N.C.] and cooked in Alexandria and Fairfax. I’m a local.”
  • Random Fact: “I’m a really picky eater: no mushrooms, no shellfish, not big on pork or steak. The list goes on. And nothing really raw.” (How do you work at Kushi? “We have good grilled food too.”)
  • Favorite Vegetable: Potatoes. “I loved mashed potatoes. Everything except for hash browns or tater tots. It’s the texture. Something about minced potatoes formed feels weird.”
  • Least Favorite Vegetable: Mushrooms. “The flavor, smell, taste, everything. They’re kinda weird ’cause you’re eating dirt.”
  • Memorable Meatless Dish: Green bean casserole. “My dad made it for me every year for my birthday since I was probably 7. It’s so easy and so cheap: canned green beans, fried onions, mushroom soup. It’s the only time I’ll eat mushrooms. And I still get it every year for my birthday and Thanksgiving.”
  • Best Vegetable Dish at Kushi: “I really like the kinpira burdock root. It’s a root that comes from Japan that we julienne and slow cook in sake, mirin, and sugar. It’s surprisingly sweet and really good. We serve it chilled and top it with white and black sesame seeds.”
  • Quick and Dirty Meatless Idea: Grilling. “Asparagus is best when it’s grilled with just olive oil, salt and pepper. Throw it on a hot grill for a few minutes and it’s tasty.”
  • Photo courtesy ThreeLockharts Communications