Robin Hollis

Years of Participation

Robin Hollis is most comfortable with her hands in the ground, picking out the produce to use in her next dish. She learned the importance of growing her own food during her childhood on her family’s horse farm in New Jersey, where her mother kept a huge garden that provided many of the ingredient that her family enjoyed. As a child, she begged her parents for a Bisquick cookbook so she could learn how to follow recipes and her passion for cooking never slowed down. In college, she would stretch her tiny budget into dinner parties for her friends. Robin turned her lifelong passion for cooking into a career of growing and creating great food.

After graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in English Literature and Art History and feeling unsure of where to turn next, Robin realized that she was happiest in the kitchen, cooking new dishes. She followed her passion to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, Oregon and after graduating, Robin worked as chef de partie at a number of restaurants in the New Jersey and New York area. In 2011, Robin became chef de cuisine at The Fat Radish in New York City.

Drawn by her home state of New Jersey, Robin returned to Lambertville in 2012 and founded Poor Farm Food Catering. After running an underground supper club for many years, she expanded into catering and events and planned suppers in barns, lofts, cafes - anywhere her clients wanted. All of the ingredients were sourced as locally as possible, with Robin growing much of the food herself, foraging for wild ingredients or getting product directly from farmers. Robin’s food philosophy is to let the ingredients speak for themselves. When the ingredients are high quality, simplicity is key.

In 2019, while The Fat Radish team worked on opening a second location in Savannah, Robin moved to Charleston, SC to become executive chef at its sister restaurant, Basic Kitchen. At Basic Kitchen, Robin wants to provide people with food that is delicious and makes guests feel great while eating. Supporting local agriculture is important for Robin as she believes it helps create community and sparks a conversation about how we should be consuming food.

In her free time, Robin can be found digging for vinyl to add to her collection, going to museums, curating playlists or catching a live show. She loves cycling, taking advantage of Charleston’s beautiful beaches and hanging out with her two cats, Henry and Regina.