Famed Local Chef Ted Robinson Back in the Kitchen

Starfish Market Selling Ted’s Creations — Gourmet Sandwiches — To Go

Ted Robinson, above, behind the scenes at Starfish Market doing what he does best. St. John Tradewinds News Photo by Eliza Magro

Residents and visitors alike can now enjoy the latest creations of favorite island chef Ted Robinson for less than $10.

Robinson, who started the restaurant Tage and has since branched out with his own business, Ted’s Supper Club, last week began making gourmet sandwiches at Starfish Market.

“With the new gourmet store opening, they wanted to cross over a little bit,” said Robinson, whose fresh sandwiches will be available daily in the former cheese cooler at Starfish. “I think we’ll eventually head toward food demonstrations, which will add another dimension.”

Robinson was busy on his first day on the job last week donning a hairnet and finding his space in the bustling Starfish kitchen, where he churned out new creations. The local chef has developed 10 sandwiches he will make for the store.

Sandwiches Reasonably Priced
Last week, the featured sandwiches were a pulled chicken and tarragon salad sandwich with baby greens, lemon, apple, cucumber and asiago cheese served on a multi-grain roll; a maple bourbon-glazed slow-roasted sirloin wrap with caramelized onions and pepperjack cheese finished with a roasted tomato bacon aioli; buttermilk fried mahi mahi with homemade tartar sauce, tomato salsa, crisp romaine hearts and a corn brioche; and an open-face grilled veggie focaccia with zucchini, portobello mushroom, roasted peppers, tomatoes, parmesan and baby arugula.

The sandwiches, priced from $4.95 to $8.95, are aimed at both the lunch and the on-the-go dinner crowd, explained Jennifer Dale of Starfish Market.

“We’re going to have them out around 10:30 or 11 a.m., and they’ll be out through that evening,” said Dale. “What we’re trying to capture is not just the lunch market, but the traveling to go dinner market, like those of us who work here at The Marketplace and need to grab something nice on the way home.”

The sandwiches will be made fresh daily, and will not sit in the display case for more than one day, Dale added. Starfish Market employees are thrilled to be working in the kitchen with Robinson, she continued.

“The kitchen staff at Starfish is elated,” said Dale. “We did some testing two weeks ago, when Ted cooked up a sample of six different sandwiches, and everybody was waiting in line for the samples. We’re pretty much thrilled to have Ted’s expertise just floating around the kitchen.”

“Inspiration” in the Kitchen
Robinson, who uses Starfish Market’s products to make his signature sandwiches, is getting used to the new environment of working in the grocery store’s kitchen.

“It’s a completely different environment than a restaurant,” he said. “The biggest thing right now is trying to find my space. The employees are very regimented, and they produce a lot of food, so I’m just trying to find my way.”

The chef is enjoying having his run of the store, he continued.

“They said, ‘here’s the store, use what you want,’” said Robinson. “I haven’t even used anything from the new store yet.”

Starfish Market employees are excited to see how the community reacts to Robinson’s presence in their kitchen, Dale explained.

“Ted has an incredibly popular following, and we’re just fortunate enough to give him some shelf space,” said Dale. “We’re just so thrilled to have him with us, and without being presumptuous, we’re hoping the exposure will help him too. He’s such an inspiration in the kitchen.”