Chef Missy Robbins of Lilia - Biography

Brooklyn, NY

October 2018

On the cusp of graduating from Georgetown University, Missy Robbins took a job at 1789 Restaurant in Washington, D.C., where her passion for food morphed into a passion for the industry. In 1994, she moved to Manhattan to receive formal training at Peter Kump’s New York School of Cooking (now ICE). An externship with Wayne Nish at March followed, then a job at Arcadia with Chef Anne Rosenzweig.

Robbins spent the next few years splitting time 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 a pivotal step for Robbins as she discovered a lifetime love for Italian food and culture.

Robbins returned to the States to work for Tony Mantuano at Spiaggia, where she won a StarChefs Rising Stars Award in 2005. Robbins finally brought her Italian acumen to the East Coast at A Voce in 2008, helping the restaurant earn a Michelin star. Robbins was also named one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs” in 2010.

In 2013, Robbins left A Voce to pursue a place of her own. After nearly three years of research, travel, and build-out, she opened Lilia in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2016, earning three stars from The New York Times. Her first book, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner…Life! was released in 2017. In 2018, Robbins won James Beard’s “Best Chef, New York City,” and opened her sophomore restaurant, Misi.