NEW ORLEANS - Nina Compton, the chef and owner of downtown hotspot Compère Lapin, has been named one of the Best New Chefs in the country.
Food and Wine gave Compton the nod in its 2017 Best New Chefs spread released today, citing the chef from Saint Lucia's Caribbean influence on her adopted city:
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, the runner up and fan favorite in Season 11 of Top Chef, was also named a national semi-finalist for Best New Chef: South by the James Beard Awards.
Watch a 2015 feature on Compton above.