About

Missy Robbins’ culinary career began while she was a student at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In 1993, a part-time job at 1789 restaurant sparked a passion for cooking, and led Robbins to attend Peter Kump’s New York School of Cooking [now The Institute of Culinary Education]. An externship at March Restaurant followed, where she worked for renowned Chef Wayne Nish before moving on to Arcadia, where she cooked under Chef Anne Rosenzweig. In the spring of 1995, she returned to March, staying for two years before rejoining Rosenzweig, this time to work at The Lobster Club as sous chef.


Robbins would soon travel to Northern Italy, where she worked in kitchens ranging from family-run rustic trattorias in Tuscany to the Michelin–rated Agli Amici in Friuli. Familiarizing herself with Italian products, techniques, and traditions, Robbins fell in love with the simplicity, the regionality, and the focus on quality ingredients that characterize Italian cooking.


Upon returning to the United States, Robbins worked as sous chef, and later as chef de cuisine, at the SoHo Grand Hotel. In 2003, Robbins moved to Chicago to work at Tony Mantuano’s Spiaggia. As Executive Chef of Spiaggia and Café Spiaggia, Robbins brought her passion for Italian cooking to life. During her tenure at there, Spiaggia was nominated by The James Beard Foundation for Outstanding Restaurant nationally twice and for Outstanding Service in 2008. 

She would move on to serve as Executive Chef of A Voce restaurants from the fall of 2008 to spring of 2013, earning a Michelin star at the Madison location in 2009, and in 2010 at A Voce Columbus. In 2010, Missy was honored to be named a Food & Wine Best New Chef.

In 2013, Missy left A Voce to pursue her biggest challenge to date - a place of her own. After nearly three years of research, travel, and building the restaurant she always wanted, Missy opened Lilia in North Williamsburg, Brooklyn in January 2016.  

The restaurant is the culmination of a lifetime love affair with Italian food and culture, and presents Missy’s thoughtful, creative approach to cooking.  Lilia has earned Three Stars from The New York Times, and both critical and popular acclaim from across the country, and earned Missy a James Beard Award nomination.  

Her first book, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner…Life! will be published in Sept 2017

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