How do you make vegan quiche? If you’re chef Robert Micciulla, you bring six years of experience as a practicing vegan, as well as a diverse kitchen background to the recipe. Micciulla’s CV includes time at both Fig & Olive in DC and the Michelin-starred, now-rebranded The Oxford Kitchen in Oxford, England. So how did he wind up as the chef at an Alexandria doughnut shop?
“I had originally been a patron of their business,” Micciulla says of Elizabeth’s Counter, a vegan bakery owned by Rob Krupicka, formerly of Sugar Shack Donuts. When he saw an ad for a chef to expand the offerings at the shop, he jumped at the chance. “Everywhere I’ve worked I’ve tried to put vegan items on the menu and have been successful at that,” says Micciulla. “When I first started in the culinary world, I didn’t get to pick where I worked all the time. Now I’ve gotten to a place where I can be where I want.”
His main objective, says Micciulla, is to diversify the offerings at Elizabeth’s, transforming it from a doughnut shop to a vegan café. That means a more robust list of grocery offerings, but also meals throughout the day. At breakfast, diners can find seasonal popovers, burritos (including one filled with “mushroom carnitas”), and those quiches, which are made using tofu custard. Lunchtime brings sandwiches made with faux chicken and burgers. Among the salads and bowls, Micciulla is most proud of the celery-root cake, an animal-free take on the crab cake.
Since Micciulla is now overseeing the kitchen, he’ll also have a hand in the doughnuts being offered. New treats include an Oktoberfest-themed doughnut that features a stout-reduction cake doughnut with a chocolate drizzle. There’s also “a maple-vanilla cinnamon-y, pumpkin-y, French-toast-inspired doughnut.” Micciulla’s menu officially debuts on October 6.
804 N. Henry St., Alexandria
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