The Food Journal and Food, Nutrition & Science

An alliance between The Lempert Report and The Center for Food Integrity

In the Kitchen with Chef Nyesha Arrington

In the Kitchen with Chef Nyesha Arrington

In the Kitchen

December 20, 2009

Chef Nyesha Arrington, 27, is the Chef de Cuisine at the Santa Monica-based Caché, Josiah Citrin’s new restaurant featuring a blend of contemporary American food with European influences. Growing up surrounded by diverse cooking styles thanks to her multi-cultural roots, Arrington became a fan of incorporating international flavors into her culinary creations, and honed her skills over the years at several award winning restaurants, including Mélisseand the Las Vegas-based L’Atelier. Many of her signature dishes feature eclectic ingredients from local farmer’s markets.

What is the main focus of your cooking?

Utilizing seasonal local produce with perfect execution.

Is there a particular nutritional focus of your meals?

Using local/organic products that have not been treated with pesticides ensures that we are serving a product of the utmost quality.

What is your relationship with local farmers?

I work very closely with local farmers to get the best produce at the peak of the season.

Are you incorporating locally grown foods into your dishes? How?

One can see the results of our local markets in our nightly menu. Certainly, our salad courses, like the Market Wedge Salad or the Beet and Burrata Salad feature the best ingredients and showcase California organic producers. And, our menu carries a large list of side dishes, including seasonal brussels sprouts, crushed fingerling potatoes and our signature roasted carrots with passion fruit and thyme. We predominately use local produce when preparing our menu at Caché.

What are the major concerns today of your patrons when it comes to dining out? How are you addressing them?

The major focus of our clientele is to provide a delicious affordable meal in a relaxed environment with exceptional service and a knowledgeable wait staff.

How important is sustainability?

Imperative. Using our natural resources in a responsible manner is very important to ensure that our great produce stays around forever.

How important is traceability? 

It is equally as important for farmers to take responsibility and pride in their products, to be able to trace back any contamination and to keep our consumers healthy.

What steps does your restaurant take toward conservation?

We do not use any products that are in danger of extinction.