You are definitely entitled to bragging rights when your first job right out of culinary school is working alongside chef/restaurateur Daniel Boulud from New York City’s famed Daniel, but that was really just the start of Chef Nina Compton’s crazy impressive resume. After moving to Miami and earning coveted spots at Norman’s, Casa Casuarina (where she was the Executive Chef) and Scott Conant’s Scarpetta, a star turn on BRAVO’s Top Chef led her to the city she now calls home: New Orleans. Her first solo restaurant, Compère Lapin, just opened in the Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery in the Warehouse District, and it’s already earning rave reviews. The chef took some time away from basically ruling the world to answer our nine questions. We are humbled.
1. What’s an underrated food city and why?
Miami. There are so many great restaurants down there. People assume Miami is just South Beach’s Ocean Drive strip, but there are incredible places and talented chefs in that city making really good food.
2. What food/food trend are you tired of?
Brussels sprouts. Don’t get me wrong, I like them. I just think food should not be trendy, it should be seasonal.
3. How do you feel about Yelp?
Yelp is a double-edged sword. It does help guide people to restaurants, but at the same time, it is an open forum for people to bash chefs and owners, sometimes ruining businesses.
4. If your kitchen is burning down, what’s the one gadget you save?
My Imperia Pasta Machine, without a doubt.
5. Your guilty pleasure food?
Recently it’s been doughnuts. My pastry chef Danny Alas makes a killer doughnut!
6. If you could cook for one person who would it be?
My late father, I think it would really make him smile.
7. What are five ingredients that are always in your pantry?
Maldon sea salt, lemon, chile paste, eggs, and plantains.
8. What’s the biggest mistake home cooks make?
Not having enough fun. Have a glass of wine and enjoy cooking.
9. What’s the best advice you ever received?
To be yourself.
HUNGRY FOR MORE? WATCH THIS