Rising Stars: 1789’s Travis Olson

Washington's restaurant scene is full of promising young chefs. Here are 13 rising culinary stars that we think are worth your attention

Who:Travis Olson, pastry chef at 1789.

Age: 28.

Why we chose him: He pushes the old-guard restaurant’s boundaries with lighthearted sundaes and ice-cream sandwiches, and he throws in surprises such as cardamom funnel cake.

Hometown: Arlington.

Also worked at: DC Coast and Clyde’s.

Guilty pleasure: “Tofutti Cuties ice-cream sandwiches. My girlfriend brought home a box.”

Where he’d be if not wearing a chef’s hat: “Maybe making moonshine.”

Favorite cookbook: “Edna Lewis’s early books—not necessarily for the pastry but for the older approach to cooking when recipes weren’t so important.”

Favorite kitchen gadget: “I’m into hand tools—anything that puts me in control—instead of anything with an electric motor. I really want an oil press for nuts and seeds. Supposedly you can build one from a car jack.”

Favorite pie: “I used to do a cream pie at Clyde’s of Gallery Place that married the top three cream pies. It was a coconut crust with chocolate pudding, grilled and flambéed rum bananas, and whipped cream."

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Follow Washingtonian on Twitter

Follow the Best Bites Bloggers on Twitter at

More>> Best Bites Blog | Food & Dining | Restaurant Finder

Don’t Miss Another New Restaurant—Get Our Food Newsletter

The latest in Washington’s food and drink scene.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.