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NWA Transplant Series: Chef Michael Robertshaw Shares His Journey to Opening Pizzeria Ruby
Episode 26515th April 2024 • I am Northwest Arkansas • Randy Wilburn
00:00:00 00:42:47

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About the Show:

"I just wanted something a little more out of it, something a little more spiritual. But I think food is just one of those things that you can touch people's lives with everything you do every day."

  • Michael Robertshaw

About the Guest:

Chef Michael Robertshaw is a seasoned culinary expert with deep roots in the New England culinary tradition, particularly from the Boston area. With a professional journey spanning various locations, including Seattle, Michael has a history of designing and implementing restaurants for notable groups such as Ropeswing Group in Bentonville. His Greek-Italian heritage has influenced his cooking style, leading him to establish Pizzeria Ruby in Northwest Arkansas, which has become a testament to his family's culinary legacy and his commitment to delivering high-quality, authentic cuisine.

Episode Summary:

In this episode of the I am Northwest Arkansas podcast, host Randy Wilburn engages in conversation with Chef Michael Robertshaw, the creative force behind the acclaimed Pizzeria Ruby. Renowned for its bustling atmosphere and New England-inspired pizza, Pizzeria Ruby has quickly established itself as a culinary cornerstone in the Ozarks.

The episode opens by plunging into the chef's journey, documenting his transition from the diverse food scene of Boston to the evolving culinary landscape of Northwest Arkansas. Throughout the discussion, Michael reflects on his enduring attachment to his New England origins and the impactful role his family has played in his gastronomic path. The conversation then shifts to the unparalleled rise of Pizzeria Ruby, highlighting the passionate insistence on quality and authentic experience that has led to its success.

Key Takeaways:

  • Chef Michael Robertshaw's culinary background is steeped in New England tradition, with his Greek-Italian family influencing his approach to food.
  • The inspiration for Pizzeria Ruby was born out of Michael's desire to create an authentic dining experience reminiscent of East Coast pizzerias.
  • Pizzeria Ruby's popularity stems from a dedication to quality and a refusal to compromise on the 18-inch pizza offering despite initial doubts about regional preferences.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on the restaurant industry sparked innovation, prompting Michael and his team to adapt and even consider expansion due to demand.
  • Pizzeria Ruby is not only a venue for exceptional pizza but also offers a range of options like vegan pizza and specialty beverages, cementing its role as a community cornerstone.

All this and more on this episode of the I Am Northwest Arkansas podcast.

Important Links and Mentions on the Show*

Email Pizzeria Ruby

Email Meredith Butler

Website Pizzeria Ruby

Pizzeria Ruby on Instagram

Pizzeria Ruby on Facebook

Tune in to KUAF 91.3 FM to listen to the I Am Northwest Arkansas podcast on Ozarks at Large every Tuesday both at 12 Noon and 7 PM CST. And, check us out on their podcast as well. 

This episode is sponsored by*

Signature Bank of Arkansas "Community Banking at its Best!"

Northwest Arkansas Council - "Life Works Here!"

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*Note: some of the resources mentioned may be affiliate links. This means we get paid a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.

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Thank you for listening to this I am Northwest Arkansas podcast episode. We showcase businesses, culture, entrepreneurship, and life in the Ozarks. 

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Mentioned in this episode:

Looking for your next career move in Northwest Arkansas? Check out, the hyper-local job board designed to connect job seekers with leading employers in our community. From entry-level positions to executive roles, ONBoardNWA is your one-stop shop for job opportunities right here in NWA. Take the next step in your career and visit today.

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