Nini Nguyen gets her shot to be a ‘Top Chef’

( As a young girl raised in New Orleans and daughter of Vietnamese immigrant parents, Nini Nguyen, loved to cook for her family and friends. Now, as one of the emerging new chefs competing on the popular Bravo show “Top Chef,” her childhood passion has transformed into reality television.

Scheduled to air on Dec. 6, at 8 p.m.. the Emmy awarded-winning series selected 15 new talented chefs from across the country to test their culinary skills serving up delectable dishes for expert judges and notable celebrity guests. Like Nguyen, these cheftestants are competing for the title Top Chef and a $125,000 prize.

“Being on the show, ‘Top Chef,’ it was very intimidating, scary and nerve-wracking,” said Nguyen, who started working in restaurants after Hurricane Katrina. “It’s like summer camp for chefs but with some yelling, crying and an extremely talented crew.

“I channeled my cooking style to be more southern-focused but honed in on my Vietnamese cooking with a taste of New Orleans. I really wanted to show that to America.”

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