AVANT at the Rancho Bernardo Inn (FKA El Bizcocho) Reservations

Meet the Chefs

Travis Watson
Executive Chef

As a former University of Arizona football player, “chef” seems like an unlikely career choice for a guy who also loves target shooting and Brazilian jiu-jitsu . But Chef Watson was inspired at 14 by his first football coach, who was also an Executive Chef, at a restaurant where he was employed as a dishwasher.

Chef Watson’s friends and co-workers describe him as hardworking, driven, and dedicated. After moving to Arizona from his native Watts, California when he was 14, Watson worked two jobs through high school so that he could attend Scottsdale Culinary Institute. Following his culinary studies, he did an externship under Michelin-starred Chef Jacques Paccard in Paris.

Upon his return to the States, he enrolled at the University of Arizona. One of his first jobs after graduating was working for Fox Restaurant Concepts as Corporate Pastry Chef, where he was responsible for opening 27 restaurants across the country over the next eight years.

Before landing at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, Chef Travis held positions such as Executive Chef at Avalon in Scottsdale, the Executive Sous Chef at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa, and Chef de Cuisine at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa.

During his time at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, he has fallen in love with the abundance of local product, the warm weather and the warmer people. Chef Travis is excited to be part of a team that focuses on seasonal, sustainable, nutritious and delicious food.

Margaret Nolan Carvallo
Pastry Chef (Rancho Bernardo Inn)

Having come from a long line of sweet tooths, Margaret says in her large family, life thrived and revolved around the dining table. Her love for sweets was born during childhood, when tea parties and baking with Grandma were the norm. Today, after having trained at The California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, and worked at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, The Ivy Hotel and Currant American Brasserie, this talented chef creates each dessert as though she were embarking on a fun new adventure.