The One-time Top Chef favorite cooks up an ode to creole cuisines at her NOLA hotspot Compère Lapin.
[MUSIC] I'm from the island of Saint Lucia which is next to Barbados. It's a little dot on the map. My dad was a Prime Minister, yeah. He was a very interesting man. He passed away, but he led Saint Lucia to independence from England. So we've been independent for 39 years. Because of my dad imagine that [LAUGH]. My grandmother was always in the kitchen cooking and just bossing people around and telling people what to do and don't do this and don't do that. And this is how you cut this and I just admire her form. When I started cooking we became very close. I was like her sous chef in the kitchen as I was growing up cooking. Nina was working in Miami for a long time. She was number two underneath Scott Conan, who is a very well-known Italian chef. And you can really see some of that influence in the food that she's doing. You think about my food, You guys know that that's Nina Compton on a plate. I think most people came to know Nina through her appearance on Top Chef where she really was a contestant that people fell in love with. You can come from a small island and make it to the finale on Top Chef, that anything's possible. And if you love her on Top Chef you'll probably love the food she's cooking at [UNKNOWN] Pan as well. In New Orleans Nina Compton is doing great thing. Her [UNKNOWN] opened in 2015 and she has been crushing it with this sexy combination of bayou and Caribbean all with a flair that only she could. A lot. I got a chance to do my own restaurant in New Orleans, which I always wanted to live there and I said why not. So, I just picked up everything and I moved. When you get to New Orleans it's like being in the Caribbean. And you see French influence, Portuguese, slavery, a lot of slave influence as well. So for me that's something I grew up with, I'm like this is fun this is my playground. I'm like I'm just gonna make everything I grew up with and much more. So that the whole premise of the menu. The menu is a little bit of everything, Caribbean influence But also French, Italian, and I try and basically make it fun. So we add a lot of Cajun and Creole ingredients as well. And it's almost like she's got this sort of rubber band ball of what Louisiana cooking truly is. And she's unraveling it, and looking at all of its parts, in this really interesting way. And compare the town in New Orleans needs Yvette Compton! When it got announced, I had so many of my peers, people I respect in the industry, saying congratulations, your life is going to change. And I'm like, what does this all mean? What is the meaning of life? What's going to happen next? So for me it's like The next step is gonna be, I think a fun journey. It's just gonna get bigger and better I think. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO]