Nina Compton, who shot to fame after she won the runner-up spot and fan favourite in season 11 of Top Chef, has been named one of the USA’s best new chefs by Food & Wine magazine.
Compton is among 12 up-and-coming chefs featured in the publication.
“Each year, we tour the country to uncover America’s most brilliant up-and-coming chefs. This year’s list took restaurant editor Jordana Rothman and a seasoned team of always-hungry editors and reporters from coast to coast, north to south,” the magazine states.
The St. Lucian opened her own restaurant, Compère Lapin in New Orleans, Louisiana in June 2015.
According to the publication: “The Caribbean influence in New Orleans is deeply embedded in the Cajun and Creole tradition. But at Compère Lapin Saint Lucian chef Nina Compton unravels the French/Southern/Haitian rubber-band ball of Louisiana cooking, and looks at its constituent parts in a new way.
“Her food contends beautifully and deliciously with her own heritage and that of her adopted city. A Caribbean seafood pepper pot is like a West Indian bouillabaisse, with shrimp and freshwater drum in a slow-burn broth.
“For her curried goat Nina plays with form, serving the sticky, cinnamon-scented meat with refined sweet potato gnocchi. But even still, there’s no mistaking the flavors of this dish—or anything else at Compère Lapin—as anything but a tender, tautly-rendered torch song from an island girl.”
Compton is the daughter of Sir John George Melvin Compton, who served as Prime Minister of Saint Lucia. She was named the island’s Culinary Ambassador after her performance on the Bravo TV series.