March 17, 2016
By: Erica Gonzales, Harper's Baazar

With the rise of viral foods, food blogs and #foodporn posts, it's easy to get carried away by photogenic (not to mention delicious) meals and overlook the people who created them. But chefs are just as cool as the latest food Instagrammer you follow, and here are 20 accounts to prove it. With a dash of celeb selfies, travel pictures, and even some outfit photos, these cuisiniers show there's a lot more to them than just the cooking.

Chef John Besh

He has 12 restaurants, numerous TV appearances, and New Orleans-based charity the John Besh Foundation under his belt, and Chef John Besh still knows how to post a mean tablescape photo on the 'gram.  


How to eat (and drink) your way through New Orleans in a long weekend

March 24, 2016
By: Shayne Benowitz, Miami Herald

New Orleans was long on my shortlist of American cities I’d never been to, but was dying to visit. There was something about the lore of the Big Easy, with its free-spirited, jazzy laissez les bons temps rouler mindset that spoke to me.


Chef John Besh is something of a legend on the New Orleans culinary front with 12 restaurants to his name. It all started with James Beard Award-winning August (301 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-299-9777;, an ode to modern French cooking with a kick of New Orleans flavor. Located in a charming 19th century French-Creole corner building, the white tablecloth dining room is refined without being fussy. Sparkling chandeliers hang from high ceilings bolstered by ornate columns with exposed brick walls and picture windows spilling in light from the street.

We dined at lunchtime, when the three-course $20.16 prix fixe menu is a value hard to beat. However, other items on the menu tempted our taste buds: a charred winter green salad with the most perfectly piquant, crispy country ham, a roasted grouper in crab jus with blue crab meat and wild mushrooms, and fried green tomatoes with cold, firm lobster-shrimp remoulade. Every bite was symphonic, especially when chased with a fizzy French 75. It takes the cake for the best meal of our trip.


Scenes From the John Besh Foundation's Fêtes Fest

March 21, 2016
By: Nora McGunnigle, Eater Nola

On Friday night, the Civic Theater was hopping with revelers looking for some good food, booze, and music to dance to. It was the first annual Fêtes Fest, a sold-out bash to benefit the John Besh Foundation.

Food from chefs like Justin Devillier, John Currence, and Ryan Hewett sated attendees' hunger, (Currence's Goan-spiced redfish served over ginger black pepper rice grits topped with a coconut citrus gremolata was particularly delicious) while their thirst was slaked by an open bar which included a selection of Abita beer (including the newly released session IPA, The Big Easy) as well as a special Revelator coffee and Bulleit punch, guaranteed to keep everyone up for the party all night long.  The music, provided by Tysson with the Soul Rebels headlining, also served the same purpose.

Sugar rush provided by desserts from La Petite Grocery, Restaurant R'evolution, and Coquette.


Weekend Picks: Super Sunday, Congo Square New World Rhythms Fest, and More

March 16, 2016
By: Sara Watson, GoNola

This weekend is one of global traditions, all coming together in New Orleans. St. Joseph’s Day altars set a tone of abundance (and cookies) at locations across the city; keep your eyes peeled for them as you dance at the Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival, sample fare from acclaimed chefs at Fete de Chefs, honor Bach’s birthday at an all-night event, satisfy your Parisian inclinations Uptown, or admire the most stunning costumes on Mardi Gras Indian Super Sunday.
Chef John Besh and his culinarily accomplished coterie host a night of food and fun at The Civic Theatre starting at 7 p.m. Southern favorite John Currence and local chef Justin Devillier are just two of a star-studded lineup that also includes music from the Soul Rebels. Tickets are $80.


Packed house at entertaining Chefs' Charity helps St. Michael Special School

March 2016
By: Bill Capo, WWL

The 39th annual Chefs' Charity for Children was sold out Wednesday as 1,500 people watched some of America's best chefs share cooking tips, and the close friends like Leah Chase and John Folse turned the lessons into a comedy act.

"Look, do you see any other women here?" demanded Chef Leah. "No. I'm not going to let them have the whole show by themselves, no."

"Isn't that something, she's kicking us to the curb," laughed Chef John Folse. "But you know what, we wouldn't do this event without this one woman, so that's all that matters," he said as he gave her a kiss on the forehead.


Bam! Emeril Lagasse and the best chefs in America do lunch for New Orleans!

March 2016
By: Wild Bill Wood, WGNO

or 39 years now, nearly 4 decades, the best chefs with a New Orleans twist have been doing lunch. They do lunch for everybody at Hilton New Orleans Riverside. And they do it for free.

When everybody's full and  the check gets paid, the money all goes to St. Michael Special School in New Orleans.  That's the school and workplace for people with intellectual disabilities.  The school educates special needs children and adults  in the greater New Orleans area.

WGNO News with a Twist features reporter Wild Bill Wood takes a taste test at the best lunch on the planet.

On the menu is a who's who of cooking in New Orleans and across America:

  • Chef Andrea Apuzzo of Andrea's
  • Chef John Besh of Restaurant August
  • Chef Leah Chase of Dooky Chase
  • Chef Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery/Balise
  • Chef John Folse of Restaurant R'evolution
  • Chef Goffredo Fraccaro
  • Chef Emeril Lagasse of Emeril's
  • Chef Tory McPhail of Commander's Palace
  • Chef Reg Reggio of Zea
  • Chef Alon Shaya of Shaya
  • The Wong Brothers of Trey Yuen
  • Chef David Woodward

Everybody get the chance to snack on the creations from all these chefs.  And everybody takes home a cookbook containing 35 of the chefs' recipes.



Chefs' Charity needs help to support St. Michael Special School

February 2016
By: Bill Capo, WWLTV

At 93, legendary New Orleans chef Leah Chase still enjoys cooking, and she's planning the Chefs' Charity For Children menu.

"I'm going to do chicken breasts stuffed with oyster dressing, and I should do some string beans on the side because I don't know if they have anything for vegetarians," she joked.

The 39th annual Chefs' Charity fundraiser is March 9 at 10 a.m. the Hilton Riverside Hotel, and nearly a dozen of the nation's top chefs will join Chase in passing along kitchen tricks in the daylong cooking lesson and comedy act, and then everyone enjoys sampling all ten dishes.

"I'm looking forward to that, I really do. And every year they say, 'When are you going to quit?' I'm not not going to let these men have it all to themselves, I'm going out there," Chase said with a laugh.

In addition to Chase, the superstar lineup includes new additions Alon Shaya and Justin Devillier, as well as returning chefs Emeril Lagasse, John Besh, John Folse, Tory McPhail, Greg Reggio, Andrea Apuzzo, Goffredo Fraccaro and The Wong Brothers from Trey Yuen.  The Wongs will welcome as their guest nationally-known chef Martin Yan, of the PBS television series "Yan Can Cook."


How do the locals celebrate Mardi Gras? With red beans and rice, jambalaya and Hurricanes

February 2016
By: Beth D'Addono, For The Inquirer

Hungry visitors to New Orleans usually associate the city with storied Creole restaurants like Arnaud's, Galatoire's, and Commander's Palace, white-tablecloth shrines to such age-old dishes as trout meunière, filet gumbo, and frog legs Provencale.

But come Carnival season, fancy fare is shelved in favor of rib-sticking, crowd-pleasing dishes that fuel long hours of parade-watching along St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street.

Locals set up barbecue grills along the route, hosting street parties with pots of gumbo and trays of jambalaya, with plenty of libations on the side. That kind of joyous celebration - with traditional food and drink, high school marching bands, and a sense of neighborhood and city pride - is at the heart of what makes Mardi Gras season so magical.

When Alon Shaya moved from Philadelphia to New Orleans to work with chef John Besh in 2003, he didn't know a thing about Mardi Gras. For the first few years, Shaya, last year's James Beard winner for best chef in the South, was too busy cooking to enjoy the party. "I popped out on Canal Street a few times and was just overwhelmed," said the Harriton High grad. "A few years later, when I could take time off, I really fell in love with the traditions."


Bon Ton Café

February 2016
By: Chef John Besh, Lucky Peach

We have so many restaurants here in New Orleans that are over a hundred years old. You’re not even an established restaurant until you have twenty or thirty years under your belt. A lot of times, these places have fallen off the map of what’s hip, cool, new, and cutting-edge, but I find something real and intriguing about a place that has stood the test of time.

One of these is the Bon Ton Café, a quaint bistro-style restaurant that specializes in real Cajun cuisine, located right around the corner from my restaurant, August, in the Central Business District. It’s like you’re sitting at your Cajun grandmother’sdinner table, set with the old checked oilcloth covering, a bottle of Tabasco, and some crackers. It could be the 1950s. It’s how old New Orleanians would have eaten. I’ve watched New Orleans grow and I’ve seen it rebound, but there are parts of it, places like the Bon Ton, that should remain the same.

The drink to get at the Bon Ton is the Rum Ramsey. They’re crazy secretive about what goes into it, so I can’t really say exactly what it is, other than it’s a rum sweet and sour. It’s part of their tradition, and not a drink that I would have anywhere else.



February 2016
By:Ben Landreth, Westword

February in Denver is all about stouts and oysters.You can sip and slurp your way through the next four weeks with Oyster Month at all Jax locations, and Stout Month at all the Mountain Sun Pub spots, including Vine Street, Mountain Sun and Southern Sun. But you can also sink your teeth into many more events this week, including boozy dinners, charity nights and, yes, free tacos! Keep reading for all the tasty details.
Kent Denver School will host the seventh annual “Give Your Love to Breakthrough” to benefit Breakthrough Kent Denver, a non-profit education program for highly motivated but underserved DPS middle-school students. This year’s event features an authentic Southern meal prepared by chef, author and James Beard Award-winner John Besh. Tickets to the event — which includes dinner, an open bar, and auction and entertainment — are $125, or $350 for VIP, which adds a one-hour reception with Besh starting at 5:30 p.m. For tickets and more information on Breakthrough Denver,  


Chef John Besh brings true Louisiana cooking to Colorado Feb. 3

January 2016
By: Jan Thomas, The Villager

Roughly 1,300 miles separate Englewood from New Orleans, but on Wednesday, Feb. 3 that distance will evaporate when acclaimed chef and Louisiana native son John Besh arrives to treat local foodies to his signature southern cuisine.

Besh will be in town to participate in the seventh-annual “Give Your Love to Breakthrough” gala, a fundraiser for the tuition-free, educational program, Breakthrough Kent Denver. The gala takes place from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Schaden Dining Hall on Kent Denver School campus, 4000 E. Quincy Ave. in Englewood. A private, one-hour VIP reception with Chef Besh begins at 5:30 p.m.


Experts Predict the Top Restaurant Industry Trends of 2016

January 2016
By: Olivia Terenzio, OpenTable

It’s a new year, and there’s no shortage of new challenges and opportunities for the restaurant industry. From minimum wage hikes and tech innovations to guests’ evolving tastes and preferences, it seems restaurants are constantly breaking new ground to stay current in an ever-competitive landscape.

We asked some of the top chefs, restaurateurs, and experts in the industry to share their predictions for restaurants in 2016. Here are the trends and transformations they expect to see in food, drinks, business, and beyond (and take a look back at last year’s predictions to see where experts got it right).

Health and Sustainablity

I think there will be less pork fat used in cooking and more of an emphasis on health, which has already begun to take shape. Regionalism with a focus on sustainably sourced foods will continue to take the center stage.”

— John Besh, Chef and Founder, Besh Restaurant Group

Diners are more conscious than ever about the quality of their food and where it comes from. As a result, tastes have changed and healthy foods are here to stay. “Vegetables will move from an interesting supporting character to the dynamic lead,” Kevin predicts. “Eating healthier is no longer a trend, its the norm, and this is just the evolution of that movement.”

Access to fresh, healthy, great-tasting ingredients is absolutely essential, so we will also see chefs and restaurants starting to grow ingredients themselves. Restaurant teams are creating farms and gardens to supply food for their concepts.



Slim Down with Soup – It’s True!

January 2016
By:Tanji, Good Taste

The key to looking and feeling your best this New Year may be as simple as a piping hot bowl of soup. And science agrees! Research has shown that a serving of the good stuff often makes for the perfect meal substitute to richer, higher-calorie dense foods. These hearty eats are known to help regulate your blood sugar and make you feel fuller—faster! In general, soups have a low number of calories as compared to their serving size. They’re filling, yet easy for your body to digest. Bottom line–you’ll see results on the scale in no time. In fact, one study from Penn State found that consuming soup resulted in about a 450-calorie drop per meal! 

Celebrity Chef John Besh dished on recipe for White Squash & Shrimp Soup, included in his brand new cookbook out now. It’s a heftier offering that features green and white striped Southern heirloom cushaw squash and wild brown shrimp sourced from Lake Pontchartrain. Here’s to home cooked happiness on a plate!



January 2016
By:Rebecca Santana, AP

Leah Chase has spent her culinary life on the cutting edge of history, mixing fine dining with her southern Louisiana roots at her classic New Orleans restaurant, Dooky Chase's.

She broke the city's segregation laws decades ago by serving white and black customers, including civil rights leaders like Thurgood Marshall. She offered an upscale, white-tablecloth dining experience at a time when none existed for blacks in the city. Her jambalaya, fried oysters, shrimp Creole and Gumbo des Herbes have introduced countless people to Creole cooking.

The woman who's been dubbed the Queen of Creole Cuisine says she has few regrets - maybe just one.

"Maybe I should have worked harder. I don't know. But I did the best I could do," says Chase, sitting in the dining room during a recent lunch rush, while fielding tourists' requests for autographs of her cookbooks or photos.

The notion that Chase hasn't worked hard enough would shock her customers. Using a walker, she still goes table to table and greets diners and steps into the kitchen to make sure her fried chicken is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.

Chase, who turns 93 on Wednesday, has spent most of her life cooking and directing the restaurant named after her husband in Treme, a historic African-American neighborhood. New Orleans restaurateur John Besh calls her an "ambassador of our food, our people of south Louisiana," where she prepares classic dishes like red beans and rice or shrimp Clemenceau.


Best Catch

January 2016
By:Anne Roderique-Jones, New Orleans Bride


Eating local means something entirely different for a New Orleans wedding. Rather than the rest of the country’s affinity for a meat-and-potatoes check box on the response card, here, you’re more likely to find fresh oysters and crawfish-studded pasta. Chef John Besh, a seasoned fisherman, author of the new book “Besh Big Easy: 101 Home Cooked New Orleans Recipes,” and owner of 12 restaurants says, “In our neck of the woods, this is what we are and what we do.” The warm waters allow the city’s inhabitants to enjoy in-season seafood year-round, and there’s no better time to do so than when celebrating wedding-related events. “You can eat steak anywhere, you come here for seafood,” says Besh. From a raw bar to a scallop station, here are seafood-centric ideas for the entire wedding weekend.

Nothing says New Orleans like a classic seafood boil. Far beyond the crawfish variety, this offering can extend to shrimp, crab and oysters. Besh’s catering team often provides a rustic crawfish boil for the rehearsal dinner and, later, refined Louisiana Creole classics for the wedding reception. “We’re doing crab, shrimp and seafood boils for a rehearsal dinner,” says Besh. “You have people coming in and they want the taste of Louisiana; the casual seafood boil is the perfect opportunity for celebrating the wedding.”


9 last-minute cooking tips to ensure you're ready when holiday guests arrive

December 2015
By: Karren Gibbs,

You try your best to host the perfect family Christmas dinner, so why are you frazzled and way too busy when your guests arrive? My friend, it's because of mistakes you don't even know you're making. We asked nationally acclaimed chefs John Besh and Alon Shaya for advice on the subject and learned that the source of many cooking goofs is POOR PLANNING. Considering these top chefs turn out hundreds of delectable meals a day, their recipe for success is worth following.

Tips for cooking roasts

5. If a recipe says to cook a roast on a rack, but you plan on making a gravy—stop. "In that case, don't use a roasting rack," advises John Besh, New Orleans-based chef, restaurateur and author. "It keeps the roast elevated but, the problem is, those luscious drippings burn on the bottom of the pan. To avoid that, I cut a mirepox of onions, celery, and carrots to place the roast on. (Mirepox is a mixture of chopped veggies and sometimes herbs and meat.) This elevates the roast from the bottom of the pan. I also add water to the pan. This keeps the drippings from burning and creates the perfect pan sauce—all at the same time."

6. Don't want to cook a sixteen-pound turkey for three people? Innovate! Instead of roasting a whole bird, brine and roast just one or two parts. A breast and a drumstick may be all you need, especially if you don't want leftovers.


John Besh talks about his successful year

December 2015
By: Meghan Kluth, WGNO

 It's been a big year for award-winning chef John Besh. He opened Willa Jean in the CBD, and Shaya Uptown, which was named "America's best new restaurant" by Esquire magazine. He also released his fourth cookbook: Besh Big Easy: 101 Home-Cooked New Orleans Recipes, in which he makes his favorite hometown cooking accessible to a wide audience of cooks and readers, and easy to bring in the kitchen.

In this, his fourth book, the award-winning chef John Besh takes another deep dive into the charm and authenticity of the cuisine of his hometown.

Besh Big Easy: 101 Home-Cooked New Orleans Recipes, is a fresh and delightful new look at his signature food. Besh Big Easy will feature all new recipes for homestyle cooking such as gumbo, stews, and one pot meals.


Secret Santa: Charitable Foodie Gifts Chefs Love

December 2015
By: Jennifer Fauci, The Latin Kitchen

Tis the season for giving and what better way to show love and appreciation than dedicating your time to a charity? Our favorite chefs have shared how they play Santa Claus to some of their favorite charities and organizations. Whether it's delivering food to hungry families in New Orleans, combatting childhood obesity and championing healthy eating, or speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves, chefs have given back in more ways than one. This holiday season, show your love and support and consider donating to one of their charities, as food is the one thing that unites the world.

John Besh

In 2011, John Besh and his team created the John Besh Foundation to promote and protect the culture of New Orleans through scholarships for inner city minority youths and micro loans to area food producers. But during the holidays, the American chef, restaurateur, author, and BFF of Aarón Sánchez, works with Shine Your Light Charity to provide haute creole Christmas meals to families in need.

“We provide everything Christmas, from presents to food and drink,” said Besh of the foundation. “It also advances the development of our unique city. As for Shine Your Light, during the holidays, I like to have my children involved cooking and spending time with me. The boys cook with me and we deliver the meals to families and Mm friends are there at the same time with presents for the family and together bringing meaningful Christmas experiences.” 

In order to garner attention for his charity, Besh hold the Fetes de Chef Gala in March, as well as special pop up dinners throughout the year. He also recently collaborated with Billy Reid to create an apron with proceeds going to the foundation.