Born and raised in St. Lucia, Nina Compton turned her childhood dream of becoming a chef into one of the industry’s biggest success stories. After studying at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, she worked under chef Daniel Boulud at his signature Manhattan restaurant Daniel. Then she moved to Miami, wowing diners at iconic restaurants including Scott Conant’s Scarpetta in 2008. A star turn on Top Chef New Orleans brought her to the Queen City for good. There, she opened Compere Lapin in 2015, earning a rave review in The New York Times among other plaudits. Compton’s acclaimed Bywater American Bistro opened in 2018, and the fast-casual Nina’s Creole Cottage followed in 2023. She’s the 2018 winner of the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: South and the 2023 semifinalist for the Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef award.