LA Chef Draws Inspiration from Her Multicultural Family for an Eggcentric Take on Wontons

CHICAGO (Oct. 16, 2019) — As a part of its Incredible Egg Trends series, the American Egg Board (AEB) releases the next chapter, centering around the “Heritage” trend featuring Chef Nyesha Arrington.

Interest in multicultural cuisine continues to lead with 53% of foodservice operators saying consumers want more globally influenced foods. Even still, consumers demand authenticity with 58% saying they love or like authentic foods, flavors and ingredients. Out of the integration of these two trends, an emphasis on heritage cuisine is born.

A return to personal roots
Heritage cuisine refers to a return to personal food roots of chefs, and often, a multicultural blending of cuisines. Classically trained chefs bring their culinary skills to their personal food history, often melding haute cuisine with multicultural, humble cuisine. Dishes once reserved for home or family meals before service are now making appearances on restaurant menus. Commonly enjoyed around the world as a versatile source of protein, eggs naturally fit into this trend.

“People are hungry for new culture experiences through the lens of cuisine. They long for the story behind a dish, that’s why we’re focusing on heritage cuisine for our next Incredible Egg Trends (IET),” said Phaedra Ruffalo, senior director, market development at the AEB. “Chef Nyesha Arrington effortlessly pulls from her background to marry global trends in innovative ways. Her creative use of eggs as wonton wrappers illustrates why she was the perfect fit to showcase this trend.”

The story behind the chef
Born in Los Angeles to a multicultural family, Arrington spent her childhood cooking alongside her Korean grandmother, Ai-Soon Lee, making everything from homemade kimchi to bulgogi and octopus. Winner of 2011 series of Chef Hunter and in 2012 class of Zagat’s 30 under 30, Arrington is known for integrating techniques from around the world to create a unique culinary style that pays homage to her heritage. Beyond the kitchen, Arrington advocates for sustainable farming by supporting Santa Monica Farmers’ Market every Saturday for the past 17 years.

“Heritage cooking is telling the story of what’s in the soul,” said Chef Arrington. “Drawing from the terroir of L.A., and me coming from a biracial background (Korean and African American) is very authentic. I’m simply living out my true self. Being able to share that with the world is a blessing. I really want to touch as many people through food as I can.”

In addition to Arrington’s creative take on wontons, the new IET chronicle includes five other recipes from restauranteurs: Delta Rice Bowl from Chef Edward Lee of Succotash, Huacho Sausage Sandwich from Chef Erik Ramierez of Llamita, White Asparagus from Chef Shota Nakajima of Adana, Beet Caviar Stuffed Eggs from Kachinka and Jeweled Crispy Rice from Chef Sara Kramer of Kismet.

Operators can find these six recipes and Chef Arrington’s video as well as research and tips related to the heritage trend at:

To request an interview or photos, please contact Bethany Bell at 815.316.0150 or

Chef Nyesha Arrington
Bacon & egg wontons