By Kelly DiNardo
When Danny Bortnick attended the University of Wisconsin he landed his first cooking job at a nearby café. Since then, the Rockville native has worked in San Francisco, New Orleans and Mendocino Grille in Georgetown. Today, he heads the kitchen at Firefly in Dupont Circle. Now, we turn the tables and grill the chef.
What’s in your fridge or freezer that would surprise people?
Two foot-long, home-grown zucchini. My wife and I have a 450-square-foot garden at home, and love growing herbs, fruits and veggies. Clearly zucchinis should not get this big, but with all the rain we’ve had, they are doubling in size overnight.
Last meal you cooked for yourself?
Turkey & cheese quesadilla. Chefs typically get home late and exhausted and don’t have too much time to cook for ourselves, so simple and easy is best.
Last meal on earth?
Tasting menu from Rob Weland.
Which six people — alive or dead — would you choose to attend your ultimate dinner party? What would you serve?
Four members of the band Phish, Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin.
Oysters and beer. That’s what I have with other chefs when we get together for a good time.
What non-food-related things do you do for fun?
Hockey, construction, parenting.
If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
Italy. I lived in Florence for a while and fell in love with the food and culture and also had the opportunity to explore a lot of northern Italy, so I’d like to explore southern Italy next. I was amazed at how different the cuisine and traditions vary from town to town.
What’s on your DVR?
Pawn Stars and Dora the Explorer. My kids like history. I enjoy watching Dora.