Food and travel are, as you, know, two of my most favorite things. So naturally I was curious to know what a world famous chef might take on the road with her when she goes. Needless to say, I'm taking notes. You should, too.

As a chef with a multi-cultural background, I have just as much love for travel and exploration as I do for the kitchen. I was born in Southern California to a culturally enriched family and was introduced to diverse foods such as bulgogi, octopus and homemade kimchi at an early age. By integrating flavors and techniques from around the world, I have been able to create a style that is both personal and unparalleled. When I'm not in the kitchen at my new Santa Monica restaurant Native, you can more than likely catch me boarding a flight somewhere! As a woman who is always on the go, let me share a few of my favorite travel must-have's.  Enjoy!

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  1. 1. Lavender Essence From Thrive Market
    I can get it delivered, and they make it so easy for me to order when I’m on the go! For under 20 bucks I’m about to get premium results. This oil is widely used for homeopathic remedies and aromatherapy, so I’m able to use it in a multitude of ways! Plus, there are tons of health benefits from lavender, so it’s a win-win for me.

    2. Lancome Tonique Douceur Alcohol-Free Freshener
    his product keeps my face feeling super fresh. Convenient (easy to use) and simple (not a lot of non-natural products) are always things I’m on the hunt for when it comes to beauty, and this product checks both boxes! I highly recommend. 

    3. Kendrick Lamar
    When I need to get into my zone or wind down, I always pop on Kendrick Lamar (the inspiration behind my Syrup Sandwiches concept) — I love his vibe! He’s the perfect mix of hype and mellow. Music plays a significant role in my life, I always have something playing in the background and love the joy it brings. It’s like the secret ingredient to life.

    4. Super Soul Sunday
    I love listening to podcasts and Oprah’s Super Soul conversations are always thoughtful with purpose and meaning. After listening to her weekly guest, I feel enlightened and enriched. Podcasts are great because I can listen to them when I’m in LA Traffic, cooking in the kitchen, at the airport or just relaxing at home! There are tons to get into, so I never get bored.

    5. Yes to Cucumbers Makeup Remover Wipes
    I always travel with makeup remover wipes because they’re disposable and more comfortable to carry than a bottle of face wash. The cucumber scent leaves me feeling refreshed and clean. As soon as I get home, I kick off my shoes, say hi to my fantastic dog (she’s a French bulldog named Bleu Ginger), and I head right for the wipes! It’s the simple things in life that make me happy.

    6. You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
    While I'm traveling, reading is one of my favorite things to do. Drifting away into a good book in the sky is a place of pure solitude for me. I am currently reading You Are a Badass, which is a straightforward book filled with self-empowerment tidbits and really helps me to recharge and refocus.

    7. Hi-Chews
    These are my favorite snack! They're a quick, easy pick-me-up and they have a great texture. I’ve loved these since I was a kid and they've become a staple for me when I’m on the go. On a healthier note, I love exploring new fruits and veggies at farmers markets, especially when I’m traveling! I try to find at least one new thing every time I go. You wouldn’t believe the amazing conversations I've had with local purveyors.

about nyesha

From a young age, Chef Nyesha J. Arrington found herself in the kitchen alongside her Korean grandmother, Ai-Soon Lee, who introduced her to a world of diverse foods. A graduate of the prestigious Culinary School at the Art Institute of California in Los Angeles in 2001, Arrington is known to integrate these global flavors and techniques using farm fresh, locally, and responsibly sourced ingredients. In her career, Arrington has worked under acclaimed chefs such as Josiah Citrin of the acclaimed 2 Michelin Star Mélisse restaurant in Santa Monica, and legendary French chef Joël Robuchon at his Michelin and Mobil award-winning Las Vegas restaurants, L’Atelier and The Mansion.

During Arrington’s tenure as Executive Chef at Wilshire restaurant in Santa Monica from 2011-2013, she was named a “Rising Star" by Brad Johnson, then the restaurant critic of Angeleno.

In 2012, Arrington was recognized by Zagat in their “30 Under 30” list and profiled in LA Weekly's People Issue as one of the most 69 interesting individuals to watch. Nyesha has also appeared on popular reality cooking shows, including Bravo TV’s Top Chef, Esquire Network’s Knife Fight, and Food Network’s series Chef Hunter.

Most recently, Arrington helmed the kitchen of Leona in Venice, CA, and opened her sophomore project, NATIVE, in November 2017, located in the heart of Santa Monica.