The Chef: Justin Lucke
The Menu: Today we dined extravagantly. First we got to choose from a salad bar equipped with spring mix, baby arugula, roasted fennel, super-crunchy croutons, and a selection of four vegan salad dressings. Oh yeah. Not to be stereotypically vegetarian and just eat salad, we also feasted on porcini-mushroom-stuffed phyllo triangles with cashew cream and a tomato-shallot reduction, squares of perfectly firm polenta with saged butternut squash and tomato topping, roasted multicolor potatoes, and sautéed Brussels sprouts so fresh and spicy that we all swore they were tossed in wasabi. It doesn't end there. We were also treated to fresh giant pretzel sticks, crisp carrot-ginger soup, and abundant beverages, like all-natural sodas and juices.
The Goods: We tend to feel pretty darn spoiled here at the VNHQ what with our fantastic vegan lunches prepared right here on site every day. Today, we took it to a whole new level by taking ourselves down to Google's campus at the invitation of their head vegan chef, Justin Lucke. (He's easy to pick out in the photo as the one wearing a chef's uniform!) Lucke is in charge of one of the many cafés at Google—the one with the most vegan options, of course. The food was absolutely wonderful, and we certainly took advantage of the cafeteria-style serving system to go back for second helpings of our favorite dishes. In addition to the awesome eats, we got to talk with Lucke during the meal, and if there's anything better than eating great, vegan food, it's eating great vegan food while talking with the passionate vegan chef who made it. A lawyer-turned-chef, Lucke is clearly proud of the food he serves people, and the opportunity he has to make people's working day a little bit more healthy and a lot more delicious. A huge thanks to Justin for his hospitality and phenomenal food!