How John Besh Re-Wrote the Rules for New Orleans Restaurants

June 22, 2015
By: Greg Morabito and Helen Rosner,

"I'm bringing in white boys from the suburbs to cook Creole, and there's something wrong with that"

It's been ten years since Hurricane Katrina devastated a 200-square-mile swath of the gulf coast. New Orleans has always had one of the most thrilling food cultures in America (maybe even the world), but it took that serious storm to get much of the rest of the country to tune in to that — thanks in part to tireless rebuilding efforts of a huge community, not least among them chef John Besh. Over the last decade, Besh has served as an unofficial culinary ambassador for the Crescent City, opening a diverse group of restaurants representing all facets of its gastronomic identity, publishing cookbooks that double as love letters to Louisiana, and starting some major charitable endeavors to preserve and support the foodways of the Louisiana Bayou.