Nyesha Arrington

Chef & Food Consultant

Nyesha Arrington is on a never-ending quest for that perfect bite, one that hugs the soul and stays with you long after it leaves the plate. This journey has taken her from her classic French training at the Art Institute of California in Los Angeles, to the iconic restaurants of Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas, to the sets of Top Chef, Knife Fight and Iron Chef America. She’s been a driving force in the LA dining scene since opening Leona in 2015, earning her Eater LA’s Chef of the Year and praise from the late, great Jonathan Gold. Since leaving Leona in 2017, she’s been a restaurant consultant for model Tyra Banks and run a pop-up in Hong Kong. Her next project will take her to New York to film a TV pilot with Eater.

Creativity has always been at the core of what Nyesha does. She is addicted to the process of watching something evolve from start to finish. Growing up in a multicultural musical family, she painted, sculpted and photographed the world around her. But from a young age, food has been her ultimate art form.

Why We Love Nyesha Arrington

Nyesha wants her food to feel like a hug from the inside. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone more enthusiastic about taking raw ingredients and creating a work of art—really, really delicious art.

“Every single day that I’ve walked on planet Earth, I’ve done what I can to learn everything in my field and be the best that I can be.”

“When people eat the dish, and they smile or close their eyes, I live for that moment. I want to do that every day, all day.”

6 Questions with Nyesha Arrington

  1. Why is LA’s food scene so great?

    No question, we have access to such amazing farmers who grow phenomenal produce.

  2. When did you get more interested in sustainability?

    'Sustainable' has always been a part of my life. I live a sustainable lifestyle in that I try to not be wasteful. It’s what drives me as a chef.

  3. What did you learn from running two of your own restaurants?

    The team is everything. Surrounding yourself with people who support and believe in your vision is paramount.

  4. You grew up in a mixed black and Korean household. What are some of your earliest food memories?

    My earliest food memories include eating gumbo one night and Bulgogi another.

  5. You’ve said it’s not fun for you to do the same thing every day. What pushes you to the next thing and to try something new?

    I love life, I love the idea of seizing the day! I keep learning life lessons. I’m resilient, I guess. I’m a firm believer in failing upwards.

  6. What gets you the most excited about Morocco?

    Food is my craft and love language, so I'm really excited to see taste the tagines, see the rich vibrant colors. I am really excited to see how argan oil is made. And honestly, I just love the idea of connecting with people.

Morocco with Nyesha Arrington

One Departure Only | May 6 - 14, 2022

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