John Besh


John Besh learned the rich cultural mix and legendary culinary traditions of Southern Louisiana at an early age. Born and raised on the bayou, hunting and fishing were his favorite pastimes and he was well acquainted with the bounty of his locale. He worked in local restaurant kitchens as a teenager, and it was then that the seed of interest in food and dining took root and rapidly began to blossom.

After completing classical training at the acclaimed Culinary Instate of America, Besh furthered his education with internships, cooking with top toques in such renowned establishments as Maxim’s in New York, The Windsor Court’s Grill Room in New Orleans, and celebrated restaurants throughout Europe.

In the Black Forest region of Germany, he interned at the Michelin-starred Rmantik Hotel Spielweg, under the direction of famed German chef Karl Josef Fuchs. This was his first exposure to truly localized cuisine, a concept that remains essential to his cooking and menu development. He also trained in the south of France with Alain Assaud, a disciple of Paul Bocuse and Roger Verge, noted grand masters of French cuisine, at his eponymous bistro in St-Remy, Provence. Besh absorbed and further refined his classical sensibilities there, while the flavorful stews and roasts of the region informed his understanding of his own native cuisine, the Creole cooking of Southern Louisiana.

After serving with the Marines in Operation Desert Storm, Besh returned to Louisiana, working to transform an old mansion in Albita Springs into the award-winning Artesia restaurant, where the menu featured contemporary French fare with a local accent. Then, in July 2001 he joined some old friends from The Windsor Court who were engaged in a $3.5 Million restaurant creation-renovation to help develop a new venue for exceptional cuisine, Restaurant August. He currently presides over the menu at the instantly popular and critically praised New Orleans restaurant, which he describes as “very French with a contemporary cache, and steeped in local ingredients.”

Among his accolades Besh has been hailed as “Best New Chef of 1998” in New Orleans and listed among Food & Wine’s “Top 10 Best New Chefs in America”. He presented a dinner at the James Beard House in NYC in June, 2002. His restaurants have been featured and have received awards from Gourmet, Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Nation’s Restaurant News, Wine Spectator, Food & Wine, Southern Living, House Beautiful, The Wall Street Journal the New York Times and Bon Appetit.

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