Our People, Success Story
A Deep Dive on the Amazing Chef Travis Barnes

A Deep Dive on the Amazing

Chef Travis Barnes

by Brian Wubbena, Director of Culinary

photo of Chef Travis in his Chef coat in the Washington, DC Truluck's location

Chef Travis moved to Boca Raton at a young age with his mother. When she remarried, his stepfather introduced him to free dive spearfishing — free diving and spear fishing are two separate things that can be combined. Free diving is diving without the use of tanks or flippers. Spearfishing is, well, spearfishing. Travis took to these activities immediately and, by the age of 8, he was diving 100 feet. He started competing internationally and was able to dive to depths of 347 feet. He can also hold his breath for over 5 minutes.

photo of Chef Travis as a young boy with some lobsters he caught

photo of Chef Travis in scuba attire with a fish he caught

 

One day, when pulling out his catch, he was approached by two chefs who owned a restaurant on the beach where he was diving. They offered to buy his fish and he happily accepted. This became a regular thing that went from selling the whole fish, to selling and cutting fish, to selling and cutting fish and cooking in the restaurant. Travis was 14 when he officially started cooking.

photo of Chef Travis with a fish he caughtphoto of Chef Travis with an enormous lobster he's getting ready to cook in his kitchen

Although Chef enjoyed cooking, competition is in his blood. So, after a few years of working at the restaurant, he left to compete in just about anything you can imagine. Travis traveled the country and competing in powerlifting, spearfishing, free diving, wrestling, boxing, and MMA as a member of America’s Top Team. He has 19 boxing matches between 2004 and 2010. He even played a year of college football. After sustaining a mild injury, he decided that risking seriously injuries just wasn’t worth it and came on back to the restaurant life.

photo of Chef Travis in his football jersey

One thing led to another, and Chef Travis ended up at Truluck’s in Boca Raton in 2010. After he got off work with us, he would capture alligators and feral hogs for the state. Alligators and wild hogs aside, Travis met his future wife, Maegan, at Truluck’s and she was offered her dream job in Washington DC. So, they packed up and started a new life together.

photo of Chef Travis with his wife and daughter on the beach

photo of Chef Travis with his baby girl

After settling into D.C. and getting over the culture shock, Travis began working with the Clyde’s group. There must have been some sort of cosmic force at work because he landed in a restaurant with a gentleman named Bond Davis who had worked with us for years in Florida. Fast forward and Truluck’s expanded into the northeast, finding a beautiful spot in D.C. for our new location. Bond and Travis were obvious choices, and lucky for us, we landed them both.

photo of Chef Travis and his daughter cooking together in the kitchen

phot of Chef Travis with his daughter on a boogie board

Chef Travis still surfs and spearfishes here and there, but a busy chef’s life and the addition of a beautiful daughter named Lucy keep him occupied as you can imagine. We are just getting our feet wet in the D.C. area, but we’re extremely confident that having Chef Travis Barnes at the helm of the kitchen is going to ensure that we bring our A game every day, to every dish. We are so excited to have him back in the fold and when you visit us, you’ll know why. Your table is waiting.