When Gott’s Roadside – formerly called Taylor’s Automatic Refresher – opened over a decade ago, Rick Robinson was the man behind the menu, helping plan the concept for what would quickly become a successful, iconic diner-style institution with three Bay area locations.
Robinson honed his skills at a variety of highly acclaimed restaurants across the country in Boulder, Chapel Hill, Dallas and Boston, working under stars chefs including Bill Smith, Jasper White, and Stephan Pyles. In 1990, he was named sous-chef at North Carolina’s acclaimed Magnolia Grill. He later opened his first restaurant, Mondo Bistro in Chapel Hill, where he earned rave reviews from publications including The New York Times, USA Today and Food and Wine.
In 1999 Robinson returned to his roots in traditional American food when partners Joel and Duncan Gott tapped him as founding chef of Taylor’s. After returning to his hometown of Chapel Hill for several years, Robinson has been lured back by a fresh challenge from old friends Joel and Duncan Gott. At home in his Northern California kitchen, Robinson is up for a renewed challenge. “Ten years ago, it was easy to knock diners’ socks off,” he says. “Now it’s more difficult because they’re more educated about great food. So I’m here to make sure we are getting better and better – Gott’s will continue to blow everyone away with its focused freshness, simplicity, and truly tasty American food!”