Meet Prairie Band Casino & Resort’s
Head Chef Robbi Jenkins
Chef Robbi Jenkins made a career change to pursue her love of food in 1994. After completing the two-year program at Washburne Culinary Institute & French Pastry School in Chicago, Illinois, Jenkins began her career at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where she worked with a number of outstanding chefs for the next five years.
Enticed to come to Lawrence by family members in 2001, she immediately fell in love with the area. Her professional stops have included PrairieFire in Lawrence, Joe D’s in Brookside, Café Allegro in Kansas City and the Ameristar Casino in North Kansas City for a six-year stint before accepting the head chef position with Prairie Band Casino & Resort.
“My passion for food goes back to my childhood,” Chef Robbi said. “Watching my grandmother lovingly prepare beautiful food… and my grandfather, a baker for 45 years, influenced me greatly as well.”
From those warm, family-kitchen beginnings, Jenkins developed a love for Classic American Cuisine. “There is nothing I find more satisfying than taking a second look at the American standards, applying a classic culinary technique and seeing what I get from it!” Jenkins said.
In her everyday work as head chef at Prairie Band, her responsibilities include setting culinary standards for all of the resort restaurants and food service venues; training and developing her kitchen’s team members; writing menus and recipes; and choosing select food products from a range of purveyors utilized by the resort. But her heart is still in the kitchen.
“My opportunities to cook regularly are far too few,” said Chef Robbi. “But I love working “the line” in the Three Fires Steakhouse, or preparing a meal for a banquet event.”