The Oscars of the food world handed out its awards Monday night, and a chef who got her start in Miami took home a coveted medal.
Nina Compton, who made a name for herself at Miami Beach's Scarpetta, won the James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef: South at at a ceremony at the Lyric Opera of Chicago Monday night. She was nominated for the award alongside five other finalists, including Brad Kilgore, chef-owner of Wynwood restaurant Alter.
Compton was a finalist in this category in each of the last two years. She became a household name when she reached the finals of Bravo TV's "Top Chef" in Season 11, while she led the kitchen at Scott Conant's Scarpetta. She parlayed her success into opening Compère Lapin in New Orleans in 2015, and, earlier this year, debuted a second restaurant, Bywater American Bistro.
Kilgore was a national semifinalist in the category of Rising Star Chef in 2016 and 2017 before being nominated for Best Chef: South for the first time this year. The last Miami chef to win a James Beard award was Michael Schwartz in 2010 at his Michael's Genuine Food and Drink in the Design District.