Back in 2013, Nina Compton competed on Top Chef and came close to winning the whole thing. After her season wrapped in New Orleans, the St. Lucia native felt the urge to return to the Big Easy, which she did a couple years later to open the acclaimed Compere Lapin. The restaurant became a mash-up of her influences from her French training, experience with Italian fare, growing up in the Caribbean and ingredients of New Orleans. The place became a hit, not only as a restaurant, but as a great cocktail bar as well.
In 2018, her team’s work was rewarded as she was crowned Best Chef: South at the James Beard Awards. For an encore, she opened Bywater American Bistro in an up-and-coming neighborhood of New Orleans. She has recently reopened Bywater, but says Compère remains closed for the moment, and may reopen in September.
In this episode of Robb Report Culinary School, Compton joins culinary editor Jeremy Repanich to show how she makes hot honey butter roasted chicken. She also shares how New Orleans is faring during the pandemic and discusses her work with the Independent Restaurant Coalition.
Odds, Ends and Additional Links
- Here’s a link to Compton’s hot honey butter roasted chicken recipe.
- Compton has been a leading voice for the Independent Restaurant Coalition, lobbying for an economic relief in Congress. Here’s how you can help in those efforts.
- Her unexpected pantry staple that she thinks all home cooks need is ranch dressing powder.
- To cook your chicken more evenly and ensure more crispy skin, Compton suggest spatchcocking your bird.
- In her season on Top Chef, Compton came in second in the finale to Nicolas Elmi.
- Head to Robb Report’s Instagram page to check out more episodes of Culinary School, including Top Chef winner Mei Lin’s congee and James Beard Award-winner Chris Shepherd’s recipe for bacon chile jam.