Chef Robbie Nowlin joins Valencia Group with an impressive resume that includes Napa Valley’s Three Michelin Star Restaurant, The French Laundry

SAN ANTONIO, TXJULY 23, 2014 – After stints with renowned culinary establishments The French Laundry, The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills and Las Canarias at Omni La Mansión del Rio, the California born and San Antonio bred chef, Robbie Nowlin, has reclaimed his Texas roots and assumed the role of Executive Chef at Citrus, the award-winning restaurant at Hotel Valencia Riverwalk. Chef Nowlin’s keen eye for quality ingredients paired with his vibrant, contagious energy is a recipe sure to put the nationally recognized restaurant back on the map. Come Aug. 1, savor signature dishes such as 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. With flavor profiles changing with the season, Chef Nowlin’s product-driven menu is sure to please even the most discriminating of palettes.

“I think you will see heart and soul in the food we will be offering,” Chef Nowlin said. “I will always believe and stand behind the fact that the quality of ingredients determines the success of a menu.”

“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 has quickly risen through the culinary ranks with accolades spanning from Travel & Leisure to Trip Advisor as a world-class destination perched above one of the country’s most iconic and historically monumental scenes: The San Antonio River Walk. The celebrated restaurant and hotel duo even 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 and Vbar receive year after year,” Bilby said. “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 fourteen years of age with no formal training, Chef Nowlin took a weekend job as a cook to earn some extra dough for skateboards. Soon, he was swapping wheels for sauté pans and Japanese knives. Now, sixteen years later, Chef Nowlin’s impressive resume links him with industry tycoons Jason Dady, Damien Watel, John Brand and most notably Thomas Keller of The French Laundry (the latter after whom he named his 3.5-year-old son, Keller). Local foodies will remember that Chef Nowlin won the Chaîne des Rôtissuers competition for best young chef three years in a row.

“I have always liked a good challenge,” Chef Nowlin said. “I just felt it was time and that I was ready to be an executive chef of a four diamond hotel, especially one as sleek, modern and sexy as Valencia.”

When he is isn’t conceptualizing Citrus’ new brunch menu (coming this fall), the 30-year-old dad loves sharing cheese plates with his son, dishing about his philanthropic project Hot Wells, and tasting some of the newest creations by other chefs around town.


About Valencia Group

Houston-based Valencia Group is a fully integrated hospitality company that provides management, development, branding and repositioning services for independent, full-service hotels owned by the company, in addition to third parties.  Exceptional service, style and location are the trademarks of Valencia Group properties, which have earned both national and international recognition for their distinctive designs, amenities and settings.  Valencia Group continues to forge a niche with hotels that anchor and add value to urban, mixed-use environments, which further support or enhance the guest experience with superior residential, restaurant, retail and office components.  Signature properties include:  Hotel Valencia Santana Row in San Jose, CA; Hotel Valencia Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX; Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE in Houston, TX; and Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, MO.  Valencia Group’s newest concept, Lone Star Court, is a reinterpretation of the nostalgic motor court.  The recently opened flagship is located at The Domain in Austin, TX.  All have become destinations and gathering places within their respective communities, some further benefitting from and enriching their location within the cultural heart of a city.  For more information, please visit

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