Chrysa Robertson Dishes on Her Role as Exorcist and What It Takes To Be a Woman Chef

Chrysa with big stick.jpg
Chrysa with her big stick, which says, "all complaints will be handled quickly, calmly and with severity"
Trend you wish would go away: Deconstucted cuisine. You know, a tiny bit of several items all over a plate. Seems you need instructions to eat it.

Trend you like: I'm not a big fan of trends. Trends start out as unique good ideas, then get bastardized as everyone tries to put their spin on it.

Buzzword you wish would go away: Gluten-free.

People think of you as a hard ass. Is that your persona? Or is that really you?:
Chef Pete Deruvo (of Davanti Enoteca) used to work for me, and he recently said that I have "broken more spirits than an exorcism." SO true! And my Wonder Woman cook Sacha Levine says I sometimes remind her of Carrie at the prom. Now THAT'S funny! Seriously, I am pure marshmallow inside. I have always been a bit insecure and defensive. I have pretty strong opinions. I expect a lot from my crew. I don't suffer fools. I want things to go perfectly, and when they don't, I sometimes take my frustration out on my employees. I think I'm a lot better than I used to be, but my past behavior is a real regret of mine. As my grandmother used to say, "You get more bees with honey than with vinegar."

Myth or reality: women have to be super-tough to be a chef: I don't think you need to be Wonder Woman. Do the work, know your shit, don't play games, and work and act like you deserve respect. It's a tough biz. Don't expect any special treatment. Stand up for your rights . . . and this coming from me, a big crybaby at times!!

Enjoy this Chef Salad? Check out Nikki's previous interviews with:
Lynn Rossetto of The Splendid Table
Cullen Campbell of Crudo
DJ Monti Carlo
Pete DeRuvo of Davanti Enoteca
Chuck Wiley of Cafe ZuZu
Justin Beckett of Beckett's Table
Bryan Dooley of Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue
Silvana Salcido Esparza of Barrio Cafe
Jeff Kraus of Crepe Bar
Bernie Kantak of Citizen Public House
James Porter of Petite Maison
Johnny Chu of SoChu House Neo Asian + Martini Bar
Stephen Jones of Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
Chris Gross of Christopher's Restaurant and Crush Lounge
Chris Curtiss of NoRTH Arcadia
Payton Curry of Brat Haus
Mark Tarbell of Tarbell's
Josh Hebert of Posh
Kevin Binkley of Binkley's Restaurant
Lori Hashimoto of Hana Japanese Eatery
Larry White, Jr. Lo-Lo's Fried Chicken & Waffles

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Location Info

Rancho Pinot

6208 N. Scottsdale Road, Paradise Valley, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Davanti Enoteca - CLOSED

6316 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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