Robin Hollis

Years of Participation

2019, 2023

Robin Hollis is most comfortable with her hands in the ground, picking produce to use in her next dish as Executive Chef at Basic Kitchen. She learned the importance of growing her own food growing up on her family’s horse farm in Lambertville, New Jersey, where her mother kept a huge and bountiful garden. As a child, she begged her parents for a Bisquick cookbook so she could learn how to follow recipes and her passion for cooking and sharing a meal hasn’t slowed since.

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, creating new dishes. This led her to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, Oregon and after graduating, she worked as chef de partie at several restaurants in the New Jersey and New York area. In 2011, Robin became chef de cuisine at The Fat Radish in New York City.

She later returned to Lambertville and founded Poor Farm Food Catering. After running an underground supper club for many years, she expanded into catering and events and planned dinners in barns, lofts, farms and cafes. All 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.

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, where she has stayed since. At Basic Kitchen, Robin strives to stay true to the restaurant’s mantra of “Cleaner Fuel, Longer Adventures.” Robin’s food philosophy is to let the ingredients speak for themselves and she believes that when the ingredients are high quality, simplicity is key. Supporting local agriculture is essential to her, as she believes it helps create community and sparks a conversation about how we should be consuming food.