Top Chef Nina Compton Celebrates Island Ingredients and Homeland Favorites!
SAINT LUCIA (July 3, 2014) – The island’s lone Culinary Ambassador Nina Compton-Miller is on a mission to highlight Saint Lucia on the international culinary stage in novel ways. The first runner-up and fan favorite in the most recent “Top Chef New Orleans” series was recently appointed as the first Culinary Ambassador of Saint Lucia. Compton-Miller hopes to inspire legions of foodies and visitors to the island with promises of indigenous ingredients and forward thinking food producers.
The now-famous chef plans to use all of the advantages of growing up in an epicurean’s paradise, on an island that possesses an endless supply of fresh fruits and vegetables, a variety of ethnic influences, and access to some of the world’s best seafood. Chef Nina earlier this month again demonstrated her cooking prowess and shared her passion for Saint Lucia and by extension Caribbean cuisine, when she wowed audiences in Miami, USA as she appeared on the popular NBC 6 Morning Show as part of “Taste of the Caribbean,” a competition where over 10 teams from the Caribbean compete in a hot food/culinary team competition, bartender competition and pastry competition. The NBC 6 segment with Nina Compton-Miller can be view at https://www.facebook.com/
“Chefs in Saint Lucia are doing amazing things with native foods,” says Chef Compton-Miller. “I love stumbling upon customary dishes that feature new flavors and locally grown ingredients. It’s a melding of tradition and exploration.”
Saint Lucia’s restaurants run the gamut; from fine-dining to homey and casual, with menus across the island capturing that indigenous local flavor. “Chef Bobo Bergström has introduced fusion dishes at The Edge that combine imported flavors with ingredients that were foraged on-island,” says Compton-Miller. “While Feddo’s in Soufriere offers a to-the-point menu, featuring classic blackened fish in garlic butter served with fresh creole bread.”
Compton-Miller, whose island roots run deep, is the daughter of former Saint Lucia Prime Minister Sir John Compton. While serving as Saint Lucia’s culinary ambassador, Chef Compton-Miller has become the focal point of a massive social media push by the Saint Lucia Tourist Board. She will participate in a series of online chats later this summer, and take part in food demonstrations and media appearances. “Chef Nina brings to life the island’s homegrown ingredients and rich agricultural heritage,” explains Director of Tourism Louis Lewis. “This platform provides Saint Lucia with a unique opportunity to educate and engage new audiences.”
Throughout August, Chef Compton-Miller will lead the charge in celebrating Saint Lucia’s Chocolate Heritage Month, sharing chocolate-inspired recipes and highlighting the many ways to enjoy the beloved spice on-island. “Cacao has been cultivated on Saint Lucia for hundreds of years,” explains Compton-Miller. “It is one of the island’s most notable foods and it’s extraordinarily versatile. Saint Lucians use the spice in everything from cocoa tea for breakfast, to a rub for fish and meats.”
In honor of Chocolate Heritage Month, the Saint Lucia Tourist Board will launch an interactive chocolate heritage trail on its Facebook page facebook/come.lime.in.st.lucia featuring chocolate-inspired lodging packages. Full details of the packages however can be viewed at the SLTB’s official website www.stlucianow.com and a Chef Nina Compton-Miller Pinterest Board featuring her favorite chocolate-infused recipes.
Compton-Miller recently served as Chef de Cuisine at Scarpetta, located at the famed Fontainebleau Miami Beach resort. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, Compton-Miller began her culinary career at Daniel in New York City before moving on to Miami-based Palme d’Or and Casa Casuarina.
About Saint Lucia
One of the Windward Islands of the West Indies’ Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia (pronounced Saint LOO-sha) is nestled halfway down the Eastern Caribbean archipelago. The “Helen of the West Indies,” Saint Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – a tropical rainforest and one of the world’s few drive-in volcanoes. Culturally rich offerings include the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, quaint fishing villages along the coastline, and the annual Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival. Saint Lucia’s wide range of accommodations includes world-class five-star resorts, all-inclusive resorts, intimate inns and value-oriented properties. Saint Lucia also is home to world class cruise and yachting facilities. The island is continually recognized as one of the Leading Wedding and Honeymoon destinations worldwide.