Youthful hand cooks rockfish to perfection at Seafood Symposium

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on May 28, 2014 - 04:37 PM

Photo: Travis Brust, executive chef at the Williamsburg Inn, demonstrates how to cook and serve striped bass (rockfish), calling his dish, at right,

Travis Brust, executive chef at the Williamsburg Inn, demonstrates how to cook and serve striped bass (rockfish), calling his dish, at right, "New England Meets Virginia." Photos by Betty Wrenn Day

Travis Brust, executive chef of the Williamsburg Inn, brought new ways to cook an old favorite, striped bass (rockfish) to last week’s Chef’s Seafood Symposium at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point.

In addition, those attending learned more about Virginia seafood products, seafood safety and regulations, and the Virginia Chefs Association. Lunch was prepared and served by members of the Virginia Seafood Council, and the seminar also included a cooking competition between several Virginia Chefs Association apprenticeship program members.

But the highlight was when Chef Brust took center stage and demonstrated how to cook striped bass.

Travis found his way to Williamsburg in 2002 as an apprentice at the Williamsburg Inn, after serving in nearly every position in the kitchens of restaurants from New Hampshire south to Florida and west to Wisconsin. In 2004 he moved up to lead line cook and by 2005 was named sous chef. In 2008 he rose to executive sous chef and in 2009 received the title chef du cuisine.

 At the tender age of 29, Travis was made executive chef of the renowned Williamsburg Inn.

Travis’s road to Williamsburg began at the age of 15 when he landed a job of washing pots and pans at Russini’s Family Restaurant in his hometown. When the appetizer cook broke his leg, Brust stepped in and excelled as a substitute. He moved on to the sauté station and soon he and those around him realized his natural talent. He’s been in the kitchen ever since.