Top Chef Nina

SHE Carribean Magazine - - CULTURAL NOTES -

When you live in the Caribbean many places can claim you as their own, but Top Chef Sea­son 11 fea­tures a con­tes­tant from Saint Lu­cia, Ms Nina Comp­ton. The popular food show Top Chef took its tal­ents (and com­pe­ti­tion) to New Or­leans for the lat­est sea­son, and Mi­ami will be rep­re­sented by Chef Comp­ton who is the daugh­ter of the late Sir John Comp­ton, for­mer prime min­is­ter of St Lu­cia and also Chef de Cui­sine of Scar­petta at the Fon­tainebleau Ho­tel.

Comp­ton has trained in French, Ital­ian and Caribbean kitchens. As the num­ber two at Scar­petta, she works closely with chef/owner Scott Co­nant, who over­sees sev­eral lo­ca­tions of Scar­petta across the coun­try. From Bravo’s press re­lease: “A self-pro­claimed ‘Gnoc­chi Queen,’ Nina al­ways keeps Mal­don salt, good olive oil, le­mon, cal­abrese chilies, and ei­ther pancetta or guan­ciale on hand.”

A grad­u­ate of The Culi­nary In­sti­tute of Amer­ica (2001) in Hyde Park, New York, Chef Comp­ton be­gan her pro­fes­sional jour­ney at Daniel in New York City, work­ing and learn­ing along­side Daniel Boulud and Alex Lee. After mov­ing to Mi­ami, she had the priv­i­lege of work­ing along­side South Florida’s top toques in­clud­ing Nor­man Van Aken at Nor­man’s and Philippe Ruiz at Palme d’Or. Even­tu­ally, Chef Comp­ton was re­cruited to Casa Ca­sua­r­ina, a pri­vate club and in­ti­mate bou­tique ho­tel in Mi­ami Beach where she rose from Sous Chef to Ex­ec­u­tive Chef of the ex­clu­sive, high­ly­ac­claimed restau­rant. The ex­cite­ment be­hind the ren­o­va­tion of the famed Fon­tainebleau Mi­ami Beach in 2008, com­bined with the chance to work with Scott Co­nant at Scar­petta, lured Chef Comp­ton to the iconic prop­erty where she joined the pre-open­ing team as Sous Chef. For over three years she con­tin­ued to ex­cel as a chef, be­com­ing a key mem­ber of Scar­petta’s culi­nary team.

Top Chef fea­tures reg­u­lar hosts and judges: Padma Lak­shmi, Emeril La­gasse, Tom Colic­chio, Gail Sim­mons and Hugh Acheson. Ap­pear­ances are ex­pected by New Or­leans chefs like John Besh, Leah Chase and Paul Prud­homme; as well as guest spots by Jon Favreau, Lea Michele, An­thony Mackie, Quest­love, Jac­ques Pepin and David Chang.

SHE will be watch­ing Chef Nina Comp­ton’s achieve­ments and I’m sure all our read­ers will be root­ing for her. You go girl!

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