Rising Star Chef Robbie Lewis of Bon Appétit Management Company - Biography
Palo Alto, CA
Robbie Lewis left the lush greenery of Arkansas for the excitement of San Francisco, attending the California Culinary Academy in 1992. While attending school, Lewis met Chef Traci Des Jardins at a wine auction. The two became friends and Des Jardins offered Lewis a job at Rubicon, where she was the opening chef. Lewis accepted the position and continued growing under Des Jardins’s leadership and working on the opening teams of Boulevard, 42 Degrees, The Village Pub, and Jardinière. He also experienced the formative kitchens of Chez Panisse and Stars before traveling extensively across Europe.
Spending time in France and Italy, specifically as chef of an agriturismo villa in Tuscany, Lewis continued to hone his skills, but a desire to return to the West Coast never wavered. In 2002, Lewis returned to Jardinière, where he lead the kitchen as executive chef for five years. In that time, he continued Des Jardins’s commitment to local sustainable products and maintained Jardinière’s reputation for beautifully executed food—ultimately netting Lewis a StarChefs.com Rising Stars Chef Award and three and a half stars from the San Francisco Chronicle. Lewis now brings his nationally acclaimed skills to the Bon Appétit Management Company, where he helps feed 4,000 people daily at 8 different restaurants.