Empowering Youth Through Education

Taste of Summer Hosts

Nyesha Arrington

Chef Nyesha J. Arrington has been in love with the kitchen since age five, cooking alongside her Grandmother. Born in Southern California, Nyesha was introduced early to diverse foods such as bulgogi, octopus, and homemade kimchi. These first stages of culinary experiences definitively shaped Nyesha's palate development and her ideas about cooking . By integrating flavors and techniques from around the world, Nyesha is able to create a global style that is both personal and unparalleled.A graduate of the Art Institute of California in Los Angeles, Nyesha's resume includes work with legendary French Chef Joel Robuchon at his Michelin and award-winning Las Vegas restaurants, L'Atelier and The Mansion, as well as renowned Chefs Raphael Lunetta and Josiah Citrin of Santa Monica, CA. Nyesha is celebrated for her advocacy of using farm fresh, locally, and responsibly sourced ingredients. She is also confident enough to use essential products from around the world as the best way to draw global inspiration when creating her works of art. During Chef Arrington’s tenure as Executive Chef at Wilshire restaurant, she was named a "Rising Star" by Brad Johnson, restaurant critic of Angeleno. In 2011, Nyesha appeared as a "cheftestant" - on Top Chef and Food Network 's series, Chef Hunter , where she won the competition. In 2012, Nyesha was recognized by Zagat.com as one of the 30 Under 30 - LA's Hottest Up-And-Comers as well as Where LA's top talent under30. She was also profiled in LA Weekly's People issue as one of the most 69 interesting people to watch in 2012. In 2013 she won the cooking competition show Knife Fight on Esquire Network and later returned to Knight Fight in 2014 as a Guest Chef Judge. Chef and entrepreneur Arrington offers food experiences including a dinner installation titled "Food is Art", hosting cooking demonstrations and events worldwide. In 2015, Nyesha crafted the creative cooking vision behind Progressive California Cuisine at LEONA, in the heart of Venice, CA. During her tenure with LEONA, GQ Magazine named Arrington’s Hibiscus-Cured Yellowtail dish “ Most Sexy of 2016 ”, and Nyesha was also awarded the title of " Chef of the Year " - EATER LA . In 2016 Chef Arrington was awarded “Top 10 Dish of Los Angeles 2016” - Jonathan Gold . Currently, Nyesha continues to innovate by drawing inspiration from her diverse cultural background and French-technique while maintaining her mission to spread the message of love through food using every plate as a new canvas of creation.

Eric Greenspan

Eric Greenspan graduated both from Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Paris; he has trained with celebrated chefs including Alain Ducasse, David Bouley, and Joachim Splichal. While Executive Chef at the renowned Patina he was named one of Angeleno Magazines “Eight Hot Chefs” and his kitchen garnered both a 27/30 rating and a “Top French Restaurant” from Zagat. 944 Magazine recognized Eric as one of the “Most Buzzworthy Chefs in America.” In spring 2007, Eric opened The Foundry on Melrose to similarly rave reviews and resounding success. The Foundry was runner-up for Los Angeles Magazine’s “Best New Restaurant.” With its swanky bar, live music, and unsurpassed cuisine, the restaurant earned a swath of accolades. Condé Nast Traveler named it Best New Restaurant; it made Los Angeles Magazine’s Top 75, as well as the “Essential 99” restaurants of then LA Weekly’s Pulitzer-winning food critic Jonathan Gold. The Foundry was also a semi-finalist for The James Beard Foundation’s Best New Restaurant in America. Eric was recently the host of National Geographic's "Eric Greenspan Is Hungry." He has competed on numerous culinary competition and food-reality shows, including Food Network’s "Cutthroat Kitchen All-Stars," "Chopped All-Stars," "Guy's Grocery Games All-Stars," “The Next Iron Chef,” “The Next Iron Chef: Redemption," and “Iron Chef America” where he defeated Bobby Flay in a throw-down. Greenspan has been profiled by such publications as The New York Times, Wine Spectator, Art Culinaire, Los Angeles Confidential, Angeleno, and Los Angeles Magazine. He also won the 2008 Grilled Cheese Invitational. Eric is a partner in Midcourse Hospitality Group, along with Jim Hustead and James Moon and is the Executive Chef and owner of Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese, The Roof On Wilshire and Maré (two Los Angeles locations). Midcourse Hospitality Group also recently partnered with chef Nick Erven, on the plant based restaurant, Erven. Eric lives in LA with his wife Jamie, and son, Max. 

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