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'Top Chef' Alum Nyesha Arrington on the Importance of Risk in Business

By Cadillac | February 27, 2018 | People

On December 8, 2017, Los Angeles Confidential joined forces with Cadillac for "Driving the World Forward," a conversation with female entrepreneurs on the vision and tenacity needed to drive the world forward. The panel, supported by The XX Project and moderated by Melody Lee, Global Director of BOOK by Cadillac, included top female movers and shakers sharing their expertise and insights with an audience of fellow entrepreneurs and business leaders.


Most recently, Arrington helmed the kitchen of Leona in Venice, CA, and opened her sophomore project, NATIVE, located in the heart of Santa Monica, in November 2017. Prior to the panel, she spoke with us about the qualities and passion she draws on in driving her career and life forward.

Tell us about both the qualities that you’ve drawn on in building your businesses and achievements.
The main qualities I have drawn on in both my business and personal achievements is to never give up. Staying hungry and remaining authentic is imperative. Even if you throw ten ideas out, only one may work, and even when an idea does not work out it is important to stay authentic and carve out your own unique footprint.

Tell us about a time where you were bold and took a risk that changed the direction of your business/your career.
NA: In 2012, I was approached by a TV show called Top Chef. At first, I hesitated on participating in this show because I was concerned that if I didn’t win that my career would be over. But, after I competed and [didn’t win] people from all over the world started sending me emails telling me how much of an inspiration I was and how they wanted to eat my food and meet me. Needless to say, since then I had been very grateful of my journey and excited that I got a chance to share it in a large platform.

What do you feel like has been the most challenging thing you’ve faced throughout your career?
The most challenging thing I have faced thus far in my career is having a failed partnership. It took me a while to shake off the simple fact that sometimes visions do not align and you just have to part ways. When you set your intentions, if you stay true to them and succeed together it is something magical.

What's your biggest piece of advice for female entrepreneurs?
My biggest piece of advice to share with female entrepreneurs is to have confidence.

What are you most passionate about and how does passion drive your career and company?
I am most passionate about being creative. In a world so reliant on technology, true creatives and artisans are the conduit of self-expression and legacy.

About Cadillac: Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. Today Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring distinctive design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at Cadillac’s media website with information, images and video can be found at

About BOOK by Cadillac: Cadillac is continuing to push the boundaries of the driving experience with a first-of-its kind luxury vehicle subscription service, BOOK by Cadillac. For a flat monthly fee, BOOK by Cadillac gives members access to popular Cadillac vehicles without the commitment of leasing, financing, or buying.

Photography by: Photography courtesy Jake Ahles