Nina Compton

Nina Compton

A 2017 F&W Best New Chef and winner of the 2018 James Beard Award for Best Chef: South, Nina Compton is chef/owner of award-winning restaurant Compère Lapin and Bywater American Bistro (BABs) in New Orleans.


Born and raised in St. Lucia, Compton grew up with the flavors and beauty of the Caribbean. Upon completion of secondary school in England, she returned home 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 she fell in love with the creativity and camaraderie of the kitchen. Leaving the cozy, warm winters of the Caribbean, Compton chose to move to chilly Hyde Park, New York, to study at the Culinary Institute of America.

She opened Compère Lapin in New Orleans' Warehouse District in June 2015, melding the flavors of her Caribbean upbringing and love for French and Italian cuisine, while highlighting the Gulf and Louisiana's beautiful indigenous ingredients. Compère Lapin has been recognized among Eater's 2017 Best Restaurants in America and Playboy's Best New Bars in America 2016, in addition to receiving a rave review in The New York Times.

Compton's highly acclaimed Bywater American Bistro opened in March 2018, featuring contemporary American fare with seasonal ingredients in a casual, convivial setting.


Compton graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2001.

About Food & Wine

Food & Wine, a Dotdash Meredith Brand, is an award-winning online resource for anyone passionate about the culinary world. With rigorously tested recipes and the most trusted restaurant, drinks, culinary travel and home coverage, we inspire and empower people everywhere to discover, create, and devour the best in food and wine. Learn more about us and our editorial process.

Latest from Nina Compton