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  • Writer's pictureRobyn Nicole

Generations of Flavor: A Culinary Journey

Updated: Feb 21




Picture this: me at 3 years old, a force of nature, not-so-delicately peeling shrimp in my highchair in my mothers restuarant. She couldn't find a sitter that night, and placed me just out of reach of the chef's line, occupied by my favorite activity at the time: massacring shellfish. That's the opening scene to my culinary story, and it's a tale as rich as the flavors my mother infused into every dish. From bustling kitchens in the Hamptons to impromptu cooking lessons at home, the aroma of spices and the sizzle of pans became the soundtrack of my upbringing.


In the heart of the Hamptons, my mother reigned as a tireless restaurateur, orchestrating multiple kitchens and clandestine catering affairs for friends of friends. As a child, my afternoons were spent amidst the clatter of plates and the hustle of service, where I transitioned from homework in a booth to scrubbing pots and pans and bussing tables.


But life has a way of seasoning our paths differently. As the restaurant industry's demands wore thin, my mother pivoted to office work, leaving behind her culinary career. Yet, her passion for food never waned. To ease her burden, she occasionally entrusted me with the family dinner duties, leaving behind handwritten recipes as my culinary compass.


Fast forward to my solo venture into adulthood at 18, where the daunting realization of self-sufficiency hit me like a ton of overcooked potatoes. With speed dial set to "Mom," I embarked on a quest to recreate her delectable dishes, discovering along the way that my love for cooking rivaled my love for devouring each meal.


As my skills flourished, so did my reputation among friends, transforming my humble abode into a culinary sanctuary for kindred spirits seeking refuge and hearty meals. Amidst their praises and exclamations of "Why aren't you a chef!?" I remained anchored to my role as a seasoned waitress, oblivious to the simmering potential within me.


Until one fateful evening at a private dinner party, where a chance encounter with a flustered hostess propelled me from table service to culinary stardom. With apron donned and spatula in hand, I saved a dinner that was destined for the trash can and left guests spellbound, igniting within me a newfound passion for the art of cooking for others.


An ensuing invitation to serve as a private chef for the summer from one of the guests at the dinner party was more than a career opportunity; it was a validation of my culinary prowess. And as fate would have it, an unexpected encounter with a certain British heartthrob added a pinch of celebrity spice to my burgeoning career.


But even the most seasoned chefs encounter the occasional kitchen mishap, like the infamous al-dente potatoes that haunted me long after a dinner party's end. Yet, from every culinary misstep emerged a valuable lesson: that even the most imperfect dishes carry the seeds of growth and refinement.


As summer waned and the scent of success lingered in the air, I found myself at a crossroads, yearning for a deeper connection to my culinary calling. With unwavering support from my husband, I embarked on the journey to establish "Robyn's Kitchen," a haven where my passion for food could flourish unbridled.


From the humble beginnings of peeling shrimp in a highchair to crafting gourmet meals for discerning palates in the Hamptons and beyond, my culinary odyssey is a testament to the enduring legacy of family, flavor, and unwavering determination. To my mother, whose culinary wisdom and unwavering support paved the path to my gastronomic destiny, I raise a toast of gratitude for the nourishment of body and soul.



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