I won’t claim to follow the celebrity chef/trendy restaurant/foodiesnooty thing. I don’t. I walk into places and I eat. If I like it, I might write about it. Sometimes these places wind up having celebrity chefs–sometimes they are trendy restaurants that keep foodies buzzing over glasses of horrifyingly expensive wine. So sometimes these things impress me, but the impression is made pretty organically. Without dragging this on any longer, Chef John Besh impresses me.
And yeah. He falls into that category of Really-Well-Known-Chef-Who-Everyone-Talks-About. But, you know, there’s a reason for that. I tried out Besh’s Luke and August last year and went back this year to New Orleans to try out Domenica, Besh Steak, and American Sector.
All three restaurants do very different things. Domenica does the charming Italian restaurant with great ambiance (and I had a hot date!) thing. Besh Steak does the large, plush restaurant in the casino with, quite obviously, fantastic steak thing. American Sector does the Goddamnit, we’re Americans and this is our delicious fried food (in the museum) thing.
The pizza and meatballs at Domenica will bring me back there again next time. So will the perfectly assembled chandeliers. The steak from Besh Steak contributed to my birthday night being, literally, the best birthday ever. The sliders at American Sector give people a new reason to visit the World War II museum in NOLA.
So, ok, John Besh. You get my nod. But just know this: You’re getting it because you’re fucking good, not because I heard people saying you are.
By: Elizabeth Seward, Photos By: Ben Britz