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‘Top Chef’ Finalist Nina Compton Named St. Lucia’s Culinary Ambassador

nina comptonCASTRIES, St. Lucia – The government here has appointed ‘Top Chef’ finalist Nina Compton a “culinary ambassador” for the island.

This announcement was made by the Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries Lorne Theophilus during Thursday’s media launch of the 2014 St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival.

Theophilus said Compton’s recent feat on the popular American television reality show demonstrates just one of the niches that the Jazz & Arts Festival seeks to capitalize on.

Compton, the favorite, lost to American Nicholas Elmi of Philadelphia in what host of the show Padma Lakshmi said was “the closest” finale she has ever experienced.

Despite losing the ‘Top Chef’ title, Compton, the chief chef at Miami Beach’s Scarpetta, earned $10,000 for winning the fan favorite competition. She also won that evening’s poll, which asked viewers to vote on who they wanted to win. She won by a landslide 80 percent.

Following the show, the St. Lucia Tourist Board  announced plans to explore ways of using Compton’s success to market the territory.

The SLTB officials said they have already reached out to Compton and have already “begun seriously exploring tangible ways of leveraging her international stardom.”

“The rationale is not only to further recognize her tremendous culinary expertise, but also to focus even more attention on our island as a truly award-winning destination, one that produces extraordinary talents in various endeavors, be it academia, sports, or the much-acclaimed culinary arts,” the SLTB said.


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