My NOLA: 20 Questions with John Besh

September 29, 2015
By: Sara Watson, Go Nola

“Our food and our culture is much bigger than a celebrity chef,” says chef John Besh. The irony isn’t lost on him — he of 12 restaurants, a James Beard award, countless television engagements, a philanthropic foundation, and four cookbooks — but he continues: “I’ve always said that our food is the only indigenous urban cuisine left in America, and it’s that way for a reason. Our gumbo, it has all the indelible ingredients from all the various cultures that came before us to create what we know as Creole culture. And you don’t deconstruct that,” he says. “You honor that.”

Still, there’s room for creativity, which is what his latest cookbook, Besh Big Easy: 101 Home Cooked New Orleans Recipes is all about. More than explicit, step-by-step recipes, Besh provides readers with the ethos behind each dish, presenting accessible recipes that, at their core, provide a taste of New Orleans.