New Orleans chef John Besh talks top recipes and plans for a Houston restaurant

November 6, 2015
By: Eric Sandler, Culture Shock Houston

At this point in his career, John Besh needs little introduction. As both a chef and restaurateur with an interest in 12 concepts, Besh serves the flavors of New Orleans to thousands of people every day. While his days of cooking on a line are mostly over, his interest in feeding people remains as strong as ever — something that's reflected in the four cookbooks he's written.  


Besh’s Big Easy Brings the Flavor!

November 5, 2015
By: Tanji, Good Taste

The timing couldn’t be better! We’re rolling right into the holidays with delicious Creole comfort food from award-winning chef, John Besh, who returns to Lüke San Antonio on Thursday, November 19! In addition to hearty holiday offerings for Thanksgiving, Lüke will also welcome Chef Besh for a special ‘cookbook party’ celebrating the launch of his latest book, Besh Big Easy: 101 Home-Cooked New Orleans Recipes


Lüke Hosts Chef John Besh Cookbook Release Party

November 3, 2015
By: Taylor Medrano, San Antonio Current

Along with the abundance of already bustling and exciting holiday-esque dining events Lüke San Antonio (125 E. Houston St.) has planned, we add another to our list. Celebrating the release of Chef John Besh's new cookbook Besh Big Easy: 101 Home-Cooked New Orleans Recipes — one of our three picks for cookbooks you should buy for the fall — Besh has teamed up with chef John Russ of Lüke to bring us a delightful evening of food and cocktails in tune to a New Orleans style brass band.  

The Lüke team will showcase their chops and prepare dishes from the cookbook themselves on Thursday November 19 starting at 7 p.m. until they close doors at 9 p.m. Alongside great food, each guest will receive a signed copy of Besh Big Easy with their purchase of a ticket which also includes food, tax, tip and select cocktails.


John Besh Attending Junior League’s Preview gala

November 4, 2015
By:Andy Macdonald, Lagniappe

Those who know me would understand that my favorite organization right now is the Junior League of Mobile. Why, you may ask? Because they are bringing John Besh to the Mobile Convention Center!

Wednesday, Nov. 11, from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m., the preview gala to Mobile’s 31st annual Christmas Jubilee is sure to be a special one. This will be your first chance to shop while enjoying delicious food, beer and wine as well as entertainment and a silent auction. Chef Besh will be doing a cooking demonstration you cannot afford to miss.

Tickets are $60, available through, and the gala is limited to those 21 and older. Dress in your favorite cocktail attire and let this be the kickoff to your holiday season


John Besh To Open Revitalized Caribbean Room At Pontchartrain Hotel

November 3, 2015
By: Sam Darcangelo, Off Beat Magazine

John Besh will revive the Pontchartrain Hotel’s famed Caribbean Room when the elegant St. Charles Avenue hotel re-opens next year. reports that the celebrity chef and New Orleans restaurateur extraordinaire’s Besh Restaurant Group will run the new Caribbean Room, as well as the hotel’s Bayou Bar, new rooftop bar and Silver Whistle Cafe. Besh–who already runs numerous acclaimed local eateries, such as August, Shaya and Lüke–posted a statement on his Facebook page today that reads:

I’m very proud to announce my partnership with the Pontchartrain Hotel to revitalize the storied Caribbean Room – it is a place that I hold dear to my heart, and has been at the center of many people’s memories for decades. It’s high time to bring its glory back, and I’m honored to be a part of this history.


Besh Group to revive Caribbean Room at Pontchartrain Hotel

November 3, 2015
By: Helen Freund, Gambit Nola

Chef John Besh will oversee the food and beverage program at the Pontchartrain Hotel when the historic building reopens next year, the building's owners announced Nov. 2. 

Chicago-based real estate company AJ Capital Partners, which purchased the historic building on St. Charles Avenue in January, said the partnership with the local restaurant group will include a revival of the storied Caribbean Room as well as the Bayou Bar, the grab-and-go Silver Whistle coffee shop and a still-unnamed rooftop bar boasting a 270-degree view overlooking the city and the Mississippi River. 

“It’s an honor to play a part in shaping the future of a place that holds previous memories for me and so many other locals,” Besh said in a prepared statement. 


News of John Besh's revival of Caribbean Room stirs memories

November 3, 2015
By: Todd A. Price,

"It's a shame what's happened to this great property the past 20 years," commented Roky36. "Thanks for stepping up to the plate Mr. Besh and investors."

News broke Monday (Nov. 2) that John Besh would revive the Caribbean Room when the Pontchartrain Hotel reopens in 2016.

Besh's team will run the Caribbean Room, the Bayou Bar, the Silver Whistle Cafe and a new, yet-to-be-named rooftop bar.

"A favorite from the days when I wore a smaller man's clothes," commented reader


John Besh Will Resurrect The Caribbean Room at Pontchartrain Hotel in 2016

November 3, 2015
By: Gwendolyn Knapp, Eater Nola

th a $10 million swanky overhaul currently underway at Garden District icon The Pontchartrain Hotel, Todd Price now reports that Besh Restaurant Group is on board to run the food and beverage program.  John Besh and team will resurrect former posh eatery the Caribbean Room, which was known for mile high pie, elegant dishes (and a buffet) and hosting celebrities aplenty, before shuttering in the 1990s.  Besh will also run three other operations inside the hotel: The Bayou Bar, a rooftop lounge, and the Silver Whistle coffee shop—once regarded for incredible blueberry muffins.

AJ Capital Partners purchased the hotel in 2014 for over $19.8 million, and are planning to debut their gorgeous renovations by mid-2016. No word on an executive chef yet, though sounds like Besh does have a few in mind. As for the hotly-anticipated Caribbean Room? Besh has described it as lush, but small enough to keep the food and service refined.


Diary 11|3|2015: John Besh Takes Over Pontchartrain Hotel Eateries.

November 2, 2015
By: Tom Fitzmorris, The New Orleans Menu

After all that rain over the weekend, we were due for clearing skies today. But it didn’t happen. Indeed, I had to make a run for it when Mary Ann and I convened for luncheon red beans at New Orleans Food & Spirits at noonish. I have at least a dozen umbrellas, but that’s clearly not enough. Enough is when you can find one. Just one.

Back at my desk, I find a message of great import from public relations lady Maggie Moore at the Besh Restaurant Group. Besh and company will be taking over all the food service operations of the Pontchartrain Hotel.

The implications of this are large. Thinking about them brings up the whole history of the hotel and its restaurants, which will not be well known to most diners under the age of forty.


Chef John Besh plans to reopen Caribbean Room in Pontchartrain Hotel not to ‘re-create the past, but honor it’

November 2, 2015
By: Ian McNulty, The Advocate

One of the great New Orleans restaurants of a generation past is coming back, led by a top chef from the city’s culinary vanguard.

John Besh plans to reopen the Caribbean Room in the Pontchartrain Hotel when that historic St. Charles Avenue property itself reopens after a major renovation now underway.

The chef’s Besh Restaurant Group has signed a deal with the hotel’s owners, AJ Capital Partners, to provide food and beverage service at the 106-room hotel, the two companies announced Monday.

Through the partnership, Besh’s group will reopen two other historic amenities at the hotel — the Bayou Bar and the Silver Whistle coffee shop. It also will develop a new rooftop bar on the hotel’s penthouse level


John Besh will revive historic Caribbean Room at Pontchartrain Hotel

November 2, 2015
By: Todd A. Price,

There was a time when the Caribbean Room at the Pontchartrain Hotel ranked among New Orleans' most elegant restaurants. Birthdays would be celebrated and proposals made between bites of chile sauce-spiked crabmeat Remick, trout Eugene and Mile High Pie. The restaurant faded after the founding Aschaffenburg family sold the hotel in the 1980s. The Caribbean Room eventually closed in 1994.

Now, chef John Besh plans to restore the splendor of the Caribbean Room when he re-opens the restaurant in mid-2016.

"The parts and pieces are still coming together," Besh said, "but the vision is very clear: not just recreating the past but shaping this into a place that pays homage to the past."


John Besh Arrives in Houston For Book Signing Dates

November 2, 2015
By: Wes Griffin, Eater Houston

You may know John Besh from his appearances on Top Chef and Iron Chef. The renowned New Orleans celebrity chef is hitting the road for a cross-country tour to promote his new book,Besh Big Easy: 101 Home-Cooked New Orleans Recipes.

John will be in H-town for two singing events at the River Oaks outpost of Billy Reid on Sunday, Nov 8th and at the Kinkaid School in Piney Point Village on Monday, Nov 9th. Both events are open to the public and will offer guests complimentary drinks and bites straight from John's new cookbook.


Newest Besh Cookbook more cook friendly

October 30, 2015
By: Chere Coen, The Advertiser

Heavens rejoice, New Orleans Chef John Besh has published a new cookbook!

Although you can certainly savor “Besh Big Easy: 101 Home Cooked New Orleans Recipes,” admiring the gorgeous photos of food, markets and long-time establishments such as Angelo Brocato’s, it’s also more cook friendly than his past coffee table productions. With this cookbook, Besh is speaking my language. Apparently, he has the same issues with time that I have, now that he’s a dad.

“I cooked at home like a chef, often bringing in hard-to-find ingredients from my restaurants, cooking delicious renditions of the traditional dishes of New Orleans, but with a deliberate, chef’s spin on them,” Besh writes in the introduction. “Today, I cook more like a scruffy, grizzly, bearded dad.”



Kids' Lunch on the Bayou

October 30, 2015
By: John Besh for Food 52
Photo: Mark Weinberg

Lunch with my boys takes on many different meanings. On Sunday it's “supper”—deliberate, homey, and substantive south Louisiana meals not very different than those that I was reared on.

Saturday's lunches are often more or less utilitarian in nature, too often consumed on the go between sporting events, often a po' boy will suffice, and weekday lunches are normally fun rifts on sandwiches and wraps packed up in brown bags with Satsumas, a cookie, and some chips of sort. I'm an early morning guy who loves to wake in those predawn hours to prepare a warm breakfast for the boys, pack their lunches, and start dinner before heading out to the restaurants for the day. 

My mission in regards to those Sunday suppers is to nourish my sons on those slow-cooked, soul-warming dishes that the bayou country is identified with. I want the little fellows to know who they are by the foods they eat, the same ones that informed my palate, just down the very same bayou, decades ago. 


Behind The Scenes: November 2015

November 2015
By: Lawren Largue, Mobile Bay Magazine
Photo: Elizabeth Gelineau

September 22 was no ordinary day at the office. 8 a.m.: Our staff eagerly awaits the minutes to tick down until it’s time to make the short drive over to Culinard at Virginia College where we will be meeting one of the top chefs in the nation.

John Besh’s reputation preceeds him: James Beard Award winner, cookbook author, successful restaurateur and lovable host of his own PBS TV series. This guy’s plate is full! And that’s what makes his relaxed, approachable demeanor that much more refreshing.

Right on time, the celebrity chef casually saunters in after driving over from NOLA, toting a massive cooler full of fresh ingredients that might as well be a treasure chest of gold. Smile beaming and eyes twinkling, he greets us one by one and then sets to work. With WKRG news anchor Devon Walsh as his student and sous chef, Besh breaks out the cutlery and wows our crowd with his flavorful, down-home dishes and simple instructions. In his own words, he’s cooking up food “like an old Southern grandmother — which is a good thing!”


Did This Year’s World’s Fair Change the Future of Food?

October 29, 2015
By Anne Roth, Eater

I'm sitting in the dining car on a vintage train in Russia, eating pork-stuffed pelmini, drinking vodka, and watching the springtime countryside slide by the windows. Well, almost: The windows are LCD screens, the luggage next to me is a prop, and my table is facing a constant stream of people exiting an interactive display that touts Russia's agricultural prowess over a thumping techno beat.

This is the fun, weird restaurant in the Russian pavilion at Expo Milano 2015, the most recent World's Fair wrapping up this week on the outskirts of Milan. One hundred and forty-five participating countries have set up immersive, townhouse-sized pavilions along a nearly mile-long strip. Strolling along the promenade with thousands of other gawking tourists, you're greeted by everything from a Thai temple to an Iranian garden to Russia's mirrored monolith.


Here’s A Mouthwatering Step-By-Step Guide To Making The Most Insanely Delicious Fried Chicken

October 26, 2015
By: Christine Byrne, Buzzfeed
Photo: Lauren Zaser, Buzzfeed

This is John Besh. He’s one of the best Southern chefs in America and the one recipe he thinks everybody should learn to cook is his grandmother’s fried chicken.

“One of my sons always asks for this fried chicken for his birthday,” says Besh, who has twelve restaurants, four cookbooks, and a James Beard award. “It’s his favorite meal.” 

He put the recipe in his newest book, Besh Big Easy, which is a collection of all the meals he actually makes for his family. “When I cook at home, I like things that you can make in a single pot or pan,” he says. 

And, it turns out, the best, most authentic, Southern fried chicken is the kind you can make with just a few ingredients, in one skillet.