Saint Lucian chef Nina Compton, daughter of the late Prime Minister John Compton, was recently the runner-up for the 11th season of the cooking reality show Top Chef. Nicholas Elmi eventually won, but Compton's participation on the show was a major topic of discussion on social media, particularly in the online group Saint Lucians Aiming for Progress.
The group organized a public screening of the Top Chef finale at the Derek Walcott Square in the middle of the island's capital. Many observers were surprised that Compton was not named the winner, but she did manage to clinch the “Fan Favorite” award and the US $10,000 prize that went along with it – an indication of the high level of online support she received. After the show, Compton was named a “culinary ambassador” by Saint Lucia's Minister of Tourism, Lorne Theophilus.
Compton received massive support over Twitter via the hashtags #TeamNina, #TeamGreenFigAndSaltFish, #Team758 and #NinaNation. Some users of the microblogging service voiced their displeasure with her second place finish, but most were more concerned about congratulating her on her success:
So #topchef choose someone who can cook spam and inconsistent over two ladies who showed them what being brilliant chefs are
— Suzi Saint Lucia (@carnille) February 6, 2014
— lanzie-melissa_grey❤ (@Lanzie_04) February 6, 2014
One Twitter user sardonically suggested that Compton could have won she had used his suggestion:
#teamgreenfigandsaltfish I tell NINA cook" pehmi and flour porride" 4 desert she go and do her own ting!
— Megabite de Artiste (@MegabiteVictor) February 6, 2014
Trinidadian fashion designer Anya Ayoung-Chee, who won the fashion competition Project Runway in 2011, also tweeted her support for Compton: