by Vince Kiernan
In a world of trendy cupcakes and boxed cookie mixes, one pastry chef is on a mission to instill a sense of old-school comfort back into our desserts. She’s using fresh, local ingredients in seasonal, thought-out recipes. And she’s starting right here in D.C.
Meredith Tomason is the mastermind behind RareSweets, a new bakeshop that began as a start-up at Union Kitchen and is now set to open in the CityCenterDC development this fall. We caught up with Meredith outside of La Colombe on Friday, where she braved the heat to dish out samples of affogato—a bold summer treat that consists of ice cream topped with a shot of espresso.
Specializing in layer cakes and ice creams, RareSweets hopes to reintroduce classic American flavors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries back into the DC pastry scene. An avid collector of antique cookbooks, Tomason champions the seasonal ingredients and delicate craftwork behind the cooking of these decades. “It’s about taking those recipes and modernizing them,” she said, while scooping out spheres of her cacao nib, crème fraîche, and dark caramel flavors.
RareSweet’s creamy goodness plus La Colombe’s espresso made for a wonderfully sweet and refreshing treat—the perfect pick-me-up for a muggy afternoon in August. RareSweets plans to open its doors in mid-October; we can’t wait to check it out and see what else Tomason has in store!
Vince Kiernan is a journalism student at NYU, class of 2017. You can read more of his work at vincekiernan.tumblr.com.