Lunch Diaries with Ellen Bennett: Nyesha Arrington
When she's not making the culinary world's most sought-after aprons, Ellen Bennett loves take her chef friends to L.A.'s best lunch spots. In this episode, she meets up with Leona chef (and Top Chef alum) Nyesha Arrington—and her dog, Ginger—for some spicy carnitas at North Hollywood's iconic Cactus Taqueria #1.
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Hey, I'm Ellen from Hedley and Bennet. We make awesome
aprons and kitchen gear for the culinary world. When I'm
not at the apron factory I'm running around LA eating.
[MUSIC] Aah, my God I can't believe it's raining in
LA. Can you believe it, jeeze. Are you alive, did
you make it? Ginger's safe. Ginger you got this girl.
Right, alright what do you like to get here. You've
come here a million times. Yes. What is your jam?
I am a carnitas girl. Want one or two? Two,
for sure You want them with onions and hot sauce?
Of course, thank you And I want two With cilantro
and onion. Two. I can't believe how much it's raining.
It's freezing.>> My god/g.>> Yay! In Mexico, everything gets craploads
of little keylimes.>> Yes.>> I got your carnitas. When I
used to work at Providence which is literally half a
block away.>> Yes.>> I would come here in our ten
minute mini break And stuff my face.>> Amazing.>> Okay. So
how long have you lived in LA?>> I am born
and raised in Los Angeles.>> Girl you are? Me too.>>
You are?>> Yeah. I'm an Angeleno.>> **** yes.>> So how
the hell did you land back in LA?>> Every place
I've moved. I've come back to Los Angeles But yeah,
you know I moved back and I started my own
catering company. Yeah. I was shuffling all around Los Angeles
for two years. And then I met my now business
partner who's amazing, and we actually own a restaurant that's
been open for five months, and it's my dream come
true place you know. What is it for you that's
like, for me like what drives me gets me going
so much is my apron world like it is super
inspiring to me to work really hard. What is your
apron? What's important to me is being able to nourish
people and being able to offer food, chef driven food
that's delicious. I come from a fine dining French background.
But being able to offer those nuances in my Cuisine
in a package that offers wellness. I have a restaurant,
I feel I have the tools to succeed now and
run it. And have a life and find balance. Right.
That makes me better in my job. So it's really,
really great year. In the kitchen it's like a whole
different culture and life You, know you have to really
want it. You're like a warrior. I am. We're not
even cooks, we're warriors. Yes, yes. Alright we have to
eat tacos again soon. Absolutely. We should leave because it
looks like it's going to pour even more. Right, Travis
is going to make me double back. alright, let's roll
out. Let's roll out. Let's do it. [MUSIC] Alright ginger
pants. Let's go Ginger.