Executive Chef, Patsy Dill Rankin
Graduate with Honors, L'Academie de Cuisine Professional Culinary School Gaithersburg, Maryland
My interest in cooking began when I was very young. My mother was the first person to spark my culinary passion. She was incredible, cooking daily for our family of eight. All our dinners were enjoyed as a family, and it was a different menu every day. Every morning there would be six lunch boxes lined up, ready for her children to take to school. She cooked well balanced and healthy foods every day. I was always amazed at how she kept it interesting and exciting. I loved helping her in the kitchen and learning from her. She taught me how to make her amazing pies from scratch, which I have now taught my daughter Robin how to do.
The first time I prepared a meal by myself was a dinner for my entire family at the age of 14. My mother watched, giving me support and ensuring that I did not ruin the food. I cannot remember exactly what I prepared for dinner. But the image of dessert is still deeply etched in my mind -- a no bake cheesecake. The only problem was that I forgot to bake the crust first, so when I sliced and lifted the first piece out of the ring mold for my father it fell apart! I was devastated. My eyes filled with tears. My dad comforted me and assured me that the pie was good as he wiped away the tears and ate the cheesecake anyway. Of course my 5 siblings teased me for a long time...but my dad ate that pie one piece at a time all week long.
Since the days spent cooking with my mother, my experience within the food industry has grown immensely. I began my professional culinary career by teaching a children's after school cooking program in the Washington DC area. Following that, I began baking breads. Over a period of time my breads amassed quite a following and before I knew it I was baking extra loafs for many people and some gourmet food shops. I followed baking by working at a health food store in which I developed their lunch menu and prepared all of the food.
Taking a break from baking and cooking, I opened a kite/toy store in Bethany Beach then in Rehoboth. For fifteen years I operated my shops until the desire to cook became too overwhelming. I sold my business and enrolled in the L'Academie de Cuisine Professional Culinary School a month later. At 46, I was back to my true love.
After graduation, I spent two years in Washington DC working at several restaurants and doing private chef work. During this time my daughter, Robin was also gaining experience in the culinary world. In 2000, we decided it was time to turn our passion into our life's work. We opened Patsy’s Restaurant in July of 2000.
Now, 24 years later, Patsy’s Restaurant has become a staple in Bethany Beach, Delaware for its quality of food, diverse collection of wines and eclectic atmosphere for casual creative coastal cuisine. We strive to bring our customers more local, all natural and organic products. Everything at Patsy's, including our stocks, sauces, dressings and desserts are made in house and from the freshest, finest ingredients available. We have won many awards including "Best Casual Restaurant" by Delaware Today Magazine, voted by the critics.
Chef de Cuisine, Chef Robin RankinL'Academie de Cuisine Professional Culinary School, Gaithersburg, MD
My mother and I have worked together for so long that we share many similar culinary philosophies. We both thrive on the freshness of our ingredients including meats, fish, and produce. Our committment to freshness has helped Patsy's to develop an extensive list of local vendors in which we receive fish, only hours off the dock, free range beef, and organic produce picked daily.
My style of cooking has been greatly influenced through my world travels. I desire food that exhibits rich, bold, well balanced flavors which are commonly revealed in Latin, Asian and Mediterranean fare. In search for exotic cuisine I have ventured to Vietnam, South America, France, Spain, Egypt, Morocco, Bulgaria and the Napa Valley. I have become known as an adventurous eater and bizarre food lover. My favorite food preparation techniques are ones using methods other than heat to "cook" foods. These alternative techniques include smoking, curing, confiting, pickling and using acid to "cook". Our special menu displays several of these alternative cooking methods throughout most of the season. We present our customers with ceviches, smoked fish & meats, pickles, and sausage.
In 2015's Delaware Today Magazine, Chef Patsy and Chef Robin were awarded for being Top Women In Business in Delaware. Chef Robin was also honored in the magazine for being one of the top 10 chefs to watch this year!