Rising Star Pastry Chef Tom Wellings of Equinox - Biography

Washington, DC

December 2010

Tom Wellings grew up in Chicago, living a Bohemian lifestyle of painting and working in cafes before realizing that his calling was in the back of house. After earning a degree in Culinary Arts from the New England Culinary Institute, Wellings went on to stage with Rob Evans of Hugo’s in Portland, Maine. Inspired by the pastry side of the culinary world, Wellings decided to move to New York City to attend The French Culinary Institute. Under the Dean of Pastry, Jacques Torres, Wellings studied the fine arts of pastry, sugar, and chocolate. During his first three months in the program, Wellings staged with Pastry Chef Patrick Coston, formerly of ILO, at the Bryant Park Hotel. Taking notice of Wellings taste for the avant garde, Chef Coston helped him earn a four-month stage under Sam Mason at wd-50. It was under Mason that the doors of creativity were swung wide open and Wellings’ signature creative style began to take shape.

In his next venture, Wellings moved to Virginia, where he took to mastering the more traditional pastry craft at The Ritz-Carlton, Tyson's Corner, while studying progressive cooking in books. Two years into his work with Ritz-Carlton, Wellings was offered the position of head pastry chef at Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, but was quickly lured back to the Ritz-Carlton, Tyson's Corner, by the opportunity to take the Pastry Chef position under Fabio Trabocchi at Maestro. From there, Wellings went on to work the pastry side of D.C. favorite, Todd Gray's Equinox.