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Southern Style Meatloaf for the Win at the CJT Class 130 Cookoff!

It was the battle of meatloaves at the Culinary Job Training Class 130’s cookoff on Wednesday. The eleven students were split up into four teams and each came up with a different way to prepare a meatloaf. Team Tastemakers were inspired by their southern background and prepared a southern style meatloaf. Team Taste of DC worked together to create a roasted red pepper meatloaf. Team Cheftatics leaned into their love of meat with their bacon-wrapped meatloaf recipe and Team Street Food prepared their take on a Philly cheesesteak meatloaf

After preparing ingredients the day before and spending their mornings working together as a team to create their dishes, the students proudly showed their work to a panel of judges. Michelle Grant, co-owner of Era Wine Bar; Joseph Tolbert, CJT Alum and DCCK Board Member; Christopher Floyd, Owner of Capital Restaurant Resources; and Alice Woods of Amazon Community Access, sampled all four dishes while asking the teams questions about the inspiration behind their meals, what their time in the Culinary Job Training program has been like, and what are their career goals.

Pamela has ambitions of being a baker while Dominic dreams of opening a Filipino-American restaurant.

“I knew what I wanted to do when I came here, but now I know what I’m capable of doing,” said Lavon.

 In the end, the Tastemakers Southern Style meatloaf impressed the judges the most with the recipe, presentation, and “freestyled” gravy. When asked for the inspiration behind serving their dish on a bed of mashed potatoes, Kenneth answered, “You just can’t have meatloaf without mashed potatoes!”

Though only one team could win, the judges were impressed with the students’ ability to collaborate with one another while creating 4 unique dishes.

DC Central Kitchen wants to extend a huge thank you to our guest judges for taking the time to support our students by providing culinary advice while encouraging them in their careers.