Sosna bills herself as a “classically trained chef and socially conscious entrepreneur.” After graduating from L’Academie de Cuisine and cooking at various D.C. restaurants, Sosna became executive chef of Fresh Start Catering, the social-enterprise venture attached to D.C. Central Kitchen. The experience awakened her passion for improving access to healthy food for D.C. school children. In 2012, she launched her own non-profit, MicroGreens, which aims to do just that. She has established partnerships with D.C. Public Schools and taken her case to the Office of First Lady Michelle Obama. She also continues to work as a caterer and cooking instructor, and does menu consulting for local chain Sweetgreen.
What D.C. chef, past or present, has been an inspiration for you? Why?
"Peter DiGeorge was a mentor for me when I first got into cooking at Chef Geoff’s. Ris Lacoste and Jamie Leeds are also inspirational for me, because there aren’t many women in this field who are able to create multiple enterprises and get so involved in philanthropy. I aspire to be like José Andrés, because he is using food ventures to create social change. He’s redefining the power of chefs."
If you had to pick a last meal for yourself from a D.C. restaurant, what would it be?
"I would go to BLT Steak and order popovers, steak, and a gin & tonic."
What’s the most hilarious or harrowing kitchen disaster you’ve experienced?
When I was at Hook in Georgetown, we were getting ready for lunch service one day and we tripped the ANSUL system, which goes off when a grease fire happens. It basically releases this goo, like slime from Double Dare, all over everything. The fire department had to come and it was a total mess to clean up. We did make it through the day without closing."
Who wasn’t on this list that we should have included?
"Matt Baker from Occidental. He is really creative and a nice, humble guy."
What dish of yours best exemplifies your approach as a chef?
"I cook a lot of straightforward food, but I focus on making sure there are a lot of textural elements. I really love risotto with mushroom stock and dehydrated mushrooms. Another signature dish is my vanilla ice cream with butterscotch sauce and cinnamon popcorn."
If you hadn't been a chef, what profession would you have chosen?
"I wanted to be a professional rower."