Nyesha Arrington - Hawaii Food & Wine Festival


Nyesha Arrington

NATIVE - Santa Monica, CA

Chef Nyesha J. Arrington has been in love with the kitchen since she was a little girl, cooking from the age of five alongside her Korean grandmother, Ai-Soon Lee. Born in Los Angeles to a multicultural family, Arrington was early introduced to diverse foods such as bulgogi, octopus, and homemade kimchi. These first stages of culinary experiences shaped Arrington’s palate development and her ideas in cooking.

By integrating flavors and techniques from around the world, Arrington has been able to create a style that is personal and unparalleled. She is celebrated for her advocacy of using farm-fresh, locally, and responsibly sourced ingredients. Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold calls her a “force in Los Angeles cooking” whose “food tastes like LA.” She has spent nearly every Wednesday of her last 17 years as a chef at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, just steps away from her restaurant Native. When she’s not creating culinary masterpieces, Nyesha spends time outdoors—she is an avid snowboarder and loves hanging on the beach—and continues to love art. Her greatest enthusiasm will always be cooking food for others that “hug their soul.”