5 Things We Learned About: 2941's Pastry Chef

By Rina Rapuano  |  February 12, 2014

About a year ago, we sampled Caitlin Dysart’s outrageously whimsical version of carrot cake at 2941 in Falls Church - and we’ve been dreaming about it ever since. In fact, we've always been a fan of the award-winning pastry chef's creations, so we naturally thought of Dysart when we decided to feature a few of our favorite pastry chefs during the month of February. (And who knows? Maybe if we butter her up, she’ll bring back that carrot cake!) In the meantime, here are five things we learned about the locally raised pastry chef.

1. A happy accident: After earning degrees in Art History and French at Tulane University, Dysart stumbled into her career when she decided to apply for a job at a new pastry shop in her New Orleans neighborhood. She served as a barista for a couple of months and moved to the kitchen as soon as a spot opened up. She later went all in by attending pastry school in Chicago.

2. It’s the simple things: Cinnamon toast is the first food she ever remembers making. She still loves it, and even used it as inspiration for a dessert component recently.

3. Tasting notes: For desserts, she loves to mix nuts and chocolate - although she says she likes to be a bit more subtle with the chocolate than some chocoholics prefer. The weirdest savory ingredient she used in a dessert was a sweet black-olive confit with olive oil sorbet. And her after-work go-to drink? A Dark & Stormy.

4. Ring bearer: As you can imagine, Dysart is privy to every marriage-proposal plan in the dining room and says they happen pretty regularly throughout the year - not just on Valentine’s Day. And while people usually say yes, she says it can get awkward when it doesn’t happen at all and she’s waiting in the wings with her congratulatory dessert at the ready.

5. Nods to the past: When asked which dessert trends she’s excited about, Dysart points to the movement toward embracing American classics like the Boston cream pie. “That’s fun because it’s something that people really relate to and it’s a good jumping-off point.”