Capital Chefs: Allison Sosna of DC Central Kitchen (Part 2)

Lunch at WJA
A healthy lunch: Local apples, whole wheat pasta and a meatball and a white bean salad. Photo by author.

Sosna firmly says “cooking is not elitist,” and that she’s working to turn around this misconception. When you hear her talk about simple dishes, using local ingredients and just getting the most out of what you eat, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could think cooking is elitist. What she likes about food remains simple: how food can heal, how it can make you happy. “Food is the centerpiece of life,” Sosna says. Ah, such an easy message we can all relate to.
But the unfortunate reality that Sosna points out is that we’ve lost knowledge on how to cook. She’s not the first chef (and certainly won’t be the last) to lament this fact, but at least she’s trying to change this. Next summer she plans on having parent-child cooking classes for students at WJA. She hasn’t heard any students say they want to be chefs yet, but she’s hopeful. “There’s discipline and pride in making really solid food. I have my little giggle moments, when we serve the same stuff you’d find in Dean & Deluca, but it’s for kids,” she says.

So although I couldn’t get a recipe for any of the items on the lunch menu I tried the day I went to WJA (man, that bean salad would be perfect for a summer gathering), I have another easy recipe from Allison. Below you’ll find her recipe for Old School Meatloaf.

Allison Sosna’s Old School Meatloaf
Yield: 4 servings, 4 oz. each

1 pound ground beef
2 teaspoonsold bay
1 teaspoonblack peppercorn
6 eggs
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Mix ground beef in bowl with eggs, pepper, salt, old bay, breadcrumbs. Mold mixture into loaf pan or on a sheet tray with parchment into a log. Mold evenly into a log about 3 inches wide, 2 inches high. Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until cooked inside temperature of 150 degrees. Let rest. Slice into 3 oz. servings. Serve with roasted potatoes or salad.

Marissa was born and bred in New Jersey, but moved to DC for undergrad at GWU (Go Colonials, go!), fell in love with the District and learned that there was life and civilization beyond New York City. She loves eating at white-tablecloth-three-forks-at-your-place-setting restaurants, but she’ll also be the first to suggest we scarf down some chili dogs at 2 am. Simply put, she loves all things food. You can also read about why she loves DC. Follow her on Twitter and email her at mbialecki (at)

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