Missy Robbins of Lilia Answers The Bashed Q&A

By Peyton Ladt Sterns February 6, 2018 

She's one of only ten female chefs in the United States to hold a Michelin star. She's cooked for Michelle and Barak Obama. Her titles include Head Chef, Restaurant Owner, and Author. Any one of these accolades would be an accomplishment but Missy Robbins holds claim to them all. The current Head Chef of Lilia, the darling of Italian restaurants in Williamsburg, lends her advice and expertise on cooking, event planning, and what to pair with tacos.

When did you first realize your love of cooking? 

I grew up in a family where food and restaurants played a huge role. So I had a fascination with entertaining and the experience of dining out. I started cooking at home in my teens but never thought of it as a career possibility until later on, when I was about to finish college.

You recently wrote and published Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner... Life!: Recipes and Adventures from My Home KitchenIt's rare to get an at-home perspective on cooking from a Michelin star chef. What do you hope readers will take away from it?

The book has two parts. I hope the recipes inspire people to cook simple food and not be afraid to try new things.

On the more literary front I hope my story inspires people in many ways and resonates with people. Mostly I hope people are encouraged to follow their own path and what feels right to them and know that it is ok to take a moment and reset.

I think any event can feel intimate as long as you are surrounded by great friends and family.

What is your go-to meal when hosting a dinner party? 

It depends. I obviously cook a lot of Italian food but lately my favorite is doing tacos paired with champagne.

What are your tips for making an event at a restaurant feel intimate? 

I think any event can feel intimate as long as you are surrounded by great friends and family. Most importantly, pick a venue that you love and let that venue do what they do best and you will have a success.

I always try to cook things that can be done ahead of time. But if I don’t, I like people to gather in the kitchen while I’m cooking.

How do you make sure you’re able to cook for and enjoy your guests when you’re hosting at home? 

I always try to cook things that can be done ahead of time. But if I don’t, I like people to gather in the kitchen while I’m cooking and sort of graze on snacks before the real meal.

If you could have dinner with 7 people, dead or alive, who would that be?  

Too many people to list, but mostly I would want to just be with my closest friends and family.

If someone is dining at Lilia for the first time, what are the must-haves on the menu right now? 

We have a lot of dishes that are go to’s for people and have become dishes that will never go away. I want people to enjoy the foods they love. That being said I am told that must haves are:

Cacio Pepe Fritelle, Clams, Mafaldini Agnolotti, Bass, Vanilla Soft serve with olive oil, honey, fennel pollen

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Peyton Ladt Sterns

Chocolate chip cookies are my spirit animal.

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