On the cusp of graduating from Georgetown University, Missy Robbins took a job at 1789 Restaurant in DC, where her passion for food decisively morphed into passion for the industry. In 1994, she made a pivotal move to Manhattan, studying at the revered Peter Kump’s New York School of Cooking. An externship under Wayne Nish at March followed, followed by a job at Arcadia under the guidance of Anne Rosenzweig.
Robbins spent the next few years between the two restaurants, ultimately taking a position as sous chef at The Lobster Club, where she was able to develop her creative side, sharpen her leadership skills, and hone her operational savvy. But a trip to Northern Italy was the real pivotal step for Robbins, who worked her way through the restaurants, from family run, rustic trattorias to Michelin-rated Agli Amici.
Robbins returned home, plying her new Italian passion in Chicago, where she worked as executive chef under Tony Mantuano at the acclaimed Spiaggia (twice nominated by the James Beard Foundation for “Outstanding Restaurant” during her tenure; Robbins herself was named a 2005 StarChefs.com Chicago Rising Star). Robbins finally brought her Italian acumen—and accolades—to the East Coast, accepting a position at A Voce in 2008. Not only has her diverse, regionally authentic food earned the restaurant and its Columbus Circle sister a Michelin star, but Robbins was also named one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs” in 2010. Robbins was the only New York chef—and the only woman—on the list.