John Besh Biography
John Besh is an American chef, TV personality, philanthropist, restaurateur, and author. Besh is known for his efforts in preserving the culinary heritage of New Orleans cuisine.
He grew up in southern Louisiana and has set the benchmark for fine dining in New Orleans – a town whose identity is bound to its food. His twelve acclaimed restaurants “August, Besh Steak, Lüke, Lüke San Antonio, La Provence, Domenica, Pizza Domenica, Borgne, Johnny Sánchez New Orleans, Johnny Sánchez Baltimore, Shaya and Willa Jean) celebrate the bounty and traditions of the region.
From the outset of his career, his’s talent and drive have earned him continuous kudos. In 2014, the James Beard Foundation inducted him into “Who’s Who in Food & Beverage.” Food & Wine named him one of the “Top 10 Best New Chefs in America,” and he won the coveted James Beard Award for Best Chef of the Southeast in 2006. In 2009, he was awarded Food Arts’ Silver Spoon Award for revitalizing the culinary legacy of New Orleans.
His flagship restaurant, August, is a Gayot Top 40 Restaurant and a Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Restaurant, in addition to being a 2012 and 2013 James Beard Nominee for Outstanding National Restaurant “eligible only to restaurants open for ten years or more” and 2015 James Beard Nominee for Outstanding Service.
In 2015 he welcomed the latest addition to the BRG family: Willa Jean Bakery. Willa Jean Bakery, a collaboration between BRG Executive Pastry Chef Kelly Fields and Pastry Chef Lisa White” of Domenica and PIZZA Domenica”, opened in August 2015.
John Besh Age
John Besh was born on May 14. 1968, in Meridian, Mississippi. He is an American chef, TV personality, restaurateur, philanthropist, and author.
John Besh Family
Besh was born in Meridian, Mississippi, and raised in Slidell. He was born to Imelda Walters Besh(mother) and Theodore Sanford Besh Jr(father). He was born and brought up together with her sisters named Laura Besh Bell, Angela, Kathleen Besh Edwards, Elaine Besh, Besh Harvey and her only brother Stephen Besh.
John Besh Wife | John Besh Sons | Is John Besh Still Married | Luke John Besh
John is married to Jenifer Berrigan Besh. They joined in 1991. The couple has four kids. His’s children s names are Luke Besh(son), Andrew Besh(son), Brendan Besh(son)and Jack Besh(son). The family is practicing Catholics and parishioners of the St. Luke the Evangelist Church in Slidell, Louisiana. Besh is a former US Marine.
John Besh Image
John Besh Net Worth
Besh, a celebrity chef himself, is one of New Orleans’ most recognized and celebrated chefs, whose restaurant group employs more than 1,000 people in cities like New Orleans, San Antonio, and Baltimore. Some of John Besh’s restaurants that are doing very well are August, Borgne, Domenica, Pizza Domenica, La Provence, Shaya, Willa Jean, and Eunice. He has an estimated net worth of $8 million dollars as of 2019.
John Besh House | John Besh August
Many of his restaurants celebrate Louisiana regional cooking, such as Restaurant August, Besh Steakhouse, Lüke, La Provence, Domenica, Pizza Domenica, Johnny Sanchez, Shaya, and Borgne.
The following active restaurants are associated with Besh:
August – New Orleans’ Central Business District – his flagship restaurant, featuring contemporary French cuisine with an emphasis on local ingredients. Featured in Gourmet magazine’s “Guide to America’s Best Restaurants” and “America’s Top 50 Restaurants”.
Borgne – Hyatt Regency – coastal Louisiana cuisines, such as shrimp toast rissoles, oyster spaghetti, and seafood stuffed flounder.
Domenica – Roosevelt Hotel – Italian; name means “Sunday” in Italian.
Lüke – New Orleans Central Business District – French, German and Creole cuisine.
Pizza Domenica – Uptown New Orleans – A casual spinoff of Domenica.
Johnny Sanchez – New Orleans Central Business District – Mexican-Inspired.
Shaya – New Orleans Garden District – Modern Israeli cuisine.
Willa Jean – The Paramount at South Market District – bakery and restaurant opened in August 2015.
The Caribbean Room, Bayou Bar, Hot Tin, Silverwhistle Cafe – All located at the historic Pontchartrain Hotel opened summer of 2016.
Eunice – “Cajun, Creole brasserie”, opening “late Fall 2017” in Houston, Texas
John Besh Recipes
BRG Hospitality February 9.2017
FROM MY FAMILY TABLE
Look, it’s totally cool to have lumps in your pancake batter! If you don’t, it means you’ve mixed them too much and they’ll be a bit tough as a result.
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups of milk
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup blueberries
Oil for the griddle
1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and sugar. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the eggs, milk, and butter and mix together gently. There will be lumps in the batter. Add half of the blueberries.
2. Lightly oil the surface of a griddle or large skillet to medium and heat to medium. Pour ¼ cup of the batter onto the griddle. Continue to pour out pancakes, spacing them well. Cook each pancake until bubbles form on the surface, then turn over and cook for an additional minute. Keep pancakes warm on a platter in the oven.
3. Serve with maple syrup and top with remaining blueberries.
Slow-Cooked Veal Grillades and Jalapeño Cheese Grits
BRG Hospitality February 15, 2016
FROM MY NEW ORLEANS
Grillades is a Creole version of pot roast; the meat is sliced or pounded thin, then slow-cooked in a pungent sauce. If veal shoulder isn’t available, substitute boneless, sliced Boston butts of pork. Sure, you can use a leaner cut of veal (and if you do, you’ll want to cut the cooking time down by half). But I encourage you to find those cheaper cuts of meat that have much more flavor than either the loin or the leg.
For the Veal
4pounds veal shoulder, sliced into thin cutlets
1teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/4cuprendered bacon fat
1large onion, small dice
1stalk celery, small dice
1/2bell pepper, small dice
2cloves garlic, minced
2cups tomatoes, diced
2cups veal stock
leaves from 1sprig thyme
1teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2green onions, chopped
salt, pepper, and Tabasco to taste
For the Jalapeño Cheese Grits
1cup stone ground white corn grits
2tablespoons mascarpone or cream cheese
1/4cup grated Edam cheese
salt to taste
Season the veal cutlets with salt and black pepper and season the flour with the Creole spices. Dredge the veal in the flour and place into a large pan with the rendered bacon fat on high. Cook the cutlets on both sides until golden brown and remove from the pan, reserving each cutlet, while being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
Once all of the veal has browned add the diced onion to the pan and lower the heat to medium-high. Sweat the onions until they become a deep mahogany color and add the celery, bell pepper and garlic. Continue cooking the vegetables while constantly stirring on medium for 5 minutes. Add a tablespoon of the leftover seasoned flour to the pan and stir so that no lumps exist. Add the tomatoes and Basic Veal Stock while stirring and raise heat to high until the liquid comes to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and add thyme, pepper flakes, bay leaf, Worcestershire and the veal cutlets back to the pan and continue simmering for 45 minutes or until the meat is fork tender. Season the grillades to taste with salt, pepper, and Tabasco and serve over creamy Jalapeño Cheese Grits.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a saucepot over high heat bring 4 cups of water to a boil while slowly whisking in the stone ground grits. Reduce the heat to medium low and place a cover over the grits to slowly cook for 20 minutes.
While the grits are cooking, roast the jalapeño pepper in the oven for 10 minutes so that the skin blisters and can be easily removed. Cut the pepper in half lengthwise and under cold running water remove the skin and the seeds from the pepper. Place the pepper on a cutting board and mince and add it to the pot of grits.
Remove the grits from the flame and fold in the butter, mascarpone and Edam cheeses. Season with salt to taste and serve.
Go-To Pie Dough
BRG Hospitality February 10, 2016
Makes 2 disks (for one 9-inch pie with a top and bottom crust
or two single-crust pies)
From Besh Big Easy
No pie dough has stood the test of time in our kitchens as well as this one. I am proud to pass it along, with just one caveat: do not overwork the dough! I always make enough for two crusts, freezing one disk if I don’t need it right away. When I want to use the frozen dough, I just thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons cold butter, diced, plus more for buttering the pan
About 1/2 cup ice water
1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter in the flour with 2 knives until it resembles cornmeal. Sprinkle in ice water as needed (up to 8 tablespoons) to help the dough come together.
2. Gather into two balls, press into round, flat disks, and wrap each one well in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes or freeze for later use.
John Besh Sexual misconduct controversy
In 2017, the BRG managers and owners were accused of perpetuating “a culture of sexual harassment” and sexual misconduct at the restaurants, publicized by 25 current and former employees.
He addressed the accusations in a statement: “Two years ago, I deeply hurt those I love by thoughtlessly engaging in a consensual relationship with one member of my team. Since then I have been seeking to rebuild my marriage and come to terms with my reckless actions given the profound love I have for my wife, my boys, and my Catholic faith.” Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain tweeted an image of the complaint filed against Besh’s group, calling it “the beginning of the end of institutionalized Meathead Culture in the restaurant business”.
Two days after the allegations were made public, Besh stepped down from BRG. BRG executive Shannon White replaced Besh as CEO of the restaurant group. BRG was renamed as BRG Hospitality, after the departure of Besh.
In October 2017, in response to the allegations of sexual misconduct, Besh stepped down from the executive advisory board for the Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame. According to the National Catholic Reporter, “Other Catholic entities that have been affiliated with Besh have not released statements about their future relationship”.
He also served as a judge “alongside fellow chef Giada De Laurentiis” on an episode of the Food Network series Iron Chef Showdown that was originally set to air on December 13. 2017; however, the episode got pushed back to January 10, 2018, with Besh digitally edited out. Lindsey Reynolds, the former Besh Restaurant Group staff member who helped expose the company’s culture of sexual harassment, is one of the people TIME magazine named among the national #MeToo movement as 2017’s Time Person of the Year.
The John Besh Foundation
Finally Drops John Besh’s Name
A ‘rebirth’ event will usher in the new name, Made in New Orleans (Mino)
Representatives for the John Besh Foundation have announced a plan to “rebirth” the organization as the Made in New Orleans Foundation with Lauren Darnell as the executive director, reports Ian McNulty. Darnell previously worked for the Son of a Saint charity, an organization that provides assistance to fatherless boys.
The first event for the organization is indeed a “rebirth” at Felicity Church on October 18 celebrating the rebranding as well as past Chefs Move! scholarship recipients. The website for the event points out that rebirth “is defined as the action of reappearing or starting to flourish or increase after a decline; revival.”
Following Brett Anderson’s watershed report on a culture of sexual harassment in John Besh’s restaurants, Besh stepped down from his day-to-day role at his restaurant group. The restaurant group quickly dropped his name, changing its name from Besh Restaurant Group to BRG Hospitality.
The John Besh Foundation was established in 2011 and operates as a separate entity from the restaurant group, though the two work in collaboration. The foundation provided scholarships, grants, and loans to individuals in the New Orleans community. Made in New Orleans will continue those initiatives. The Aarón Sánchez Scholarship Fund split completely from Besh’s foundation.
Tickets for the rebranding event, on October 18 at Felicity Church, are $100 to $200 per person and include food from Warbucks chef Todd Pulsinelli.