The Bayfront Convention Center’s Executive Chef

Posted: July 31, 2015 5:46 pm


The Erie County Convention Center Authority is proud to announce and welcome David Robbinson as the new Executive Chef for the Bayfront Convention Center. As a multi-talented chef with over 30 years of experience, his culinary expertise and creativity will bring a new dimension to the convention center’s signature banquet and catering facilities.

Originally from the state of Washington, Chef Robbinson has worked all over the country, including both east and west coasts, and has made a name for himself as a top chef with his mastery in menu design, recipe development, and creative presentations. He has extensive experience working at private country clubs, up-scale, white tablecloth restaurants and hosting prestigious sports tournaments for dignitaries including President George Bush, Sr.

In his new role, Chef Robbinson will oversee all culinary operations for the 155,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Bayfront Convention Center. He will be responsible for menu development, production, catering, personnel, inventory and financial aspects for the new facility which opened in 2007. Robbinson will also serve as a liaison to the food and beverage operations at the 7,000 seat Tullio Arena and the 2,200 seat historic Warner Theatre, both managed by the Erie County Convention Center Authority, and will lend his culinary expertise to these operations.


“David has tremendous talent, and with his exceptional personal touch, will bring a unique dining experience to our convention center guests,” comments John “Casey” Wells, Executive Director of the Erie County Convention Center Authority.

At a young age, Robbinson found his passion for cooking while working at Anna’s Restaurant in Ocean Park, Washington. Soon after, he acquired an apprenticeship at the Ark Restaurant and Bakery where he was formally trained under the strict guidance of Chef Jimella Lucas and Chef Nanci Main, two of the true pioneers of Pacific Northwest cuisine.

Over his 30-year career, Chef Robbinson has showcased his culinary talents at many prominent dining establishments including the Sign Great House Plantation in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the Fort Collins Country Club in Fort Collins, Colorado, The Woodlands Private Club in Falmouth, Maine and numerous privately-owned country clubs in the Washington, DC metro area. During his tenure as Executive Chef in DC, he made a strong impact on the market’s culinary scene by managing a variety of large events including tournaments, weddings, social functions and community affairs. He also helped stage a U.S. Senior Open Golf Tournament at a congressional country club. His menus featured a distinct flare of international cuisine that included authentic Italian, Islands of the Caribbean, Far East and Middle Eastern dishes.

Chef Robbinson received his culinary training at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He is a member of the American Culinary Federation, the National Ice Carving Association and the Club Manager’s Association. He has competed in several national ice carving competitions and culinary food arts salons.

“Chef David is a culinary master and we are proud to have him as our executive chef. He brings tremendous talent, artful displays and creative cuisine to our culinary team,” states Jeffrey Esposito, General Manager of the Bayfront Convention Center.

Most recently, Chef Robbinson was the corporate regional trainer and cluster manager for the Sunrise Assisted Living Senior Center in Erie, PA. Prior to his position at the senior center, Robbinson was the Executive Chef at the Aviation Club in Erie, PA where he hosted many functions including an annual picnic for former Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Ridge.

“I look forward to serving my community by being an ambassador to a great regional asset. With my fresh enthusiasm and extended knowledge, I promise to deliver exceptional quality and eye appeal. Bon Appetit!” said Robbinson.