Compre Lapin Chef/Owner Nina Compton has more than 15 years' experience manning the stoves of some of the finest restaurants in the country.
Upon completion of secondary school in England, Nina Compton returned to her home in St. Lucia where she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a chef. Her wary but supportive parents arranged an internship with a friend's hotel in Jamaica where Nina fell in love with the creativity and camaraderie of the kitchen. Leaving the cozy, warm winters of the Caribbean, Nina chose to move to chilly Hyde Park, NY to study at America's finest culinary school.
Graduating in 2001 from The Culinary Institute of America, Nina began her professional journey at Daniel in New York City, working and continuing her culinary education alongside world renowned chef/ restaurateur Daniel Boulud and his team.
After moving to Miami, she continued to work with the best, joining the crews of Norman Van Aken at Norman's then Philippe Ruiz at Palme d'Or. Eventually Nina moved to Casa Casuarina, a private club and boutique hotel in Miami Beach where she rose from Sous Chef to Executive Chef of the small yet highly acclaimed property.
With the excitement of the renovation of the famed Fontainebleau Miami Beach in 2008 combined with the chance to work with Scott Conant at Scarpetta, Nina leapt at the chance to join the pre-opening team as Sous Chef and went on to be appointed Chef de Cuisine, where she earned raves and accolades. During a star turn on BRAVO's acclaimed cooking competition show, Top Chef, on which she was a finalist and fan favorite, Nina fell in love with the Crescent City. An opportunity with Provenance Hotels lured Nina to New Orleans where she will open her first solo restaurant, Compre Lapin, at the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery in the Warehouse District on June 2, 2015.
Learn More About Nina Compton
What is your earliest memory involving food or wine?
Dipping mangoes in ocean as a kid growing up in St. Lucia. The combination of sweet and salty has always stuck with me.
If you've participated in the Festival before, what is your favorite SOBEWFF memory to date?
I have assisted Scott Conant with many events in the past and enjoyed Best of the Best at the Fontainebleau. There are so many great chefs, food and wine.
If you could cook with anyone in the world, who would it be?
My late grandmother who I grew up watching in the kitchen.
I never leave home without my:
My head phones. I love listening to music; it sets the tone for my day.