“I’m Looking Forward to the Future!”

Chemo. It helped her kick Stage III Hodgkin’s disease in 2004—she did six months that first round. Now it’s controlling her Stage II non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Staying on top of cancer—well, it’s not the easiest thing when you’re a chef. There are the late nights, the constant restaurant openings, the nonstop eating and drinking, the stress and drama of running a topnotch kitchen. So that’s why Robin, who garnered national attention after her 2009 run on Bravo TV’s Top Chef, shut the doors of her Seattle restaurant, Crave, put her restaurant consulting on hold and has packed up to teach culinary arts in Walla Walla—a much more serene lifestyle.

“When I am taxed, the cancer takes hold,” says Robin, who underwent five months of chemo last winter. “I had started feeling tired. My limbs were swelling. My doctor and I decided I needed treatment. And now I need to change my lifestyle. Because I can maintain my health if I take good care of myself.” One thing that will stay on Robin’s agenda: raising money for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to find a cure for lymphoma.

During chemo, Robin leaned heavily on miso soup. “The first time, my mom would drive me home from a session and I’d have to stop at a sushi restaurant for it. I almost lived on it.”

Taking an oral form of chemo last winter, Robin found herself more energetic. “I did Pilates. I juiced. I kept a part-time job.” And she whipped up her own miso. “It’s like my chicken noodle soup!”

Published April 2014

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