Nina Compton wins South's top chef at James Beard Awards

Nina Compton wins South's top chef at James Beard Awards

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Chef Nina Compton of Compère Lapin restaurant took home the South's top chef award at the James Beard Awards.

The outstanding bar program went to cocktail bar Cure when the honors were given out Monday in Chicago. The awards are considered the Oscars of the culinary world.

Compton and Cure were among the eight nominees from New Orleans this year.

Compton is a native of St. Lucia that moved from Miami to New Orleans in 2015 to open Compère Lapin, which draws from her Caribbean heritage along with her French and Italian experiences. She was a contestant on Bravo's "Top Chef: New Orleans."

Cure is owned by bartenders Neil Bodenheimer and Kirk Estopinal along with Matthew Kohnke. The cocktail bar opened in 2009 and became a mainstay for training bartenders.

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