Chef Robbie Nowlin returned to his Texas roots and assumed the role of executive chef at Citrus, the award-winning restaurant at Hotel Valencia Riverwalk.
The California-born, San Antonio-bred chef will helm the restaurant after a run at Napa Valley’s Three Michelin Star Restaurant, the French Laundry. Nowlin’s resume also includes time spent at The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills and Las Canarias at Omni La Mansión del Rio.
“Robbie has been coined one of the hottest young chefs in the city by San Antonio Magazine,” said Stephen Bilby, director of sales & marketing for Hotel Valencia Riverwalk. “He works hard at his craft and possesses a certain charismatic flair that fits perfectly with our brand.”
Citrus' new menu will include signature flavors in dishes such as the spring lamb shank with piperade, pickled eggplant, frisée and a mustard seed glaze and “Foie Gras Mille Crepe” with compressed strawberry, celery, banana Tellicherry black pepper crème fraiche and candied hazelnut. Flavor profiles will change with the season on Nowlin’s product-driven menu.
“I think you will see heart and soul in the food we will be offering,” said Chef Nowlin. “I will always believe and stand behind the fact that the quality of ingredients determines the success of a menu.”
Citrus boasts accolades from Travel & Leisure to Trip Advisor as a world-class destination above one of the country’s most iconic and historically monumental scenes. The restaurant/hotel duo has made an appearance on Top Chef and has been featured in Texas Monthly, San Antonio Magazine, San Antonio Express-News, Southern Living and U.S. News & World Report.
“We are extremely proud of the notoriety that Valencia, Citrus & VBar receive year after year,” said Bilby. “We’ve made Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List as one of the World’s Best Places to Stay three years running and received the AAA Four Diamond Award eight times.”
At just 14 years old with no formal training, Robbie Nowlin took a weekend job as a cook to earn extra money for skateboards that he was soon trading in for sauté pans. 16 years later, Nowlin’s impressive resume links him with industry tycoons Jason Dady, Damien Watel, John Brand and most notably Thomas Keller of the French Laundry.
San Antonio locals will remember Nowlin from his three reigning years as the best young chef at the Chaîne des Rôtissuers Competition.