Top Chef Season 17 Headshot Nini Nguyen

Nini Nguyen

Current Residency: New York, NY
Occupation: Chef/Instructor/Recipe Developer  
A New York based chef, instructor and recipe developer, Nini Nguyen was a frontrunner on Top Chef Season 16 in Kentucky but was eliminated during Restaurant Wars after being front of house. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Nini combines her Vietnamese heritage and NOLA flair into a unique cooking style. Early in her career, she started as a pastry cook at restaurants like Coquette & Eleven Madison Park. She later moved into savory cooking with the touring pop-up, Dinner Lab. She also has a knack for teaching and mentoring other cooks. She expressed this passion through her work at Cook Space, a recreational cooking school in Brooklyn where she developed the culinary program. As a naturally curious person, Nini’s favorite pastime is roaming through markets in different cities, tasting, smelling and squeezing all the fruits and vegetables she can get her hands on. Since being on Top Chef, Nini has kept herself busy collaborating with chefs, hosting private events and starting a pop-up dinner series.