“John Besh, owner of Restaurant August and the
hottest young chef in town, has turned down offers from New York and Florida to
stay. He sees a New Orleans rebuilt by the people who live here, not by the
politicians who make the headlines and hog the television cameras.”
—Robert Novak in Townhall.com
Acclaimed chef John Besh grew up hunting and fishing in southern Louisiana,
learning the essentials of Louisiana's rich culinary traditions at an early age.
Besh is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has worked at
prestigious establishments such as Maxim's in New York, the Windsor Court's
Grill Room in New Orleans, and the Cinnamon Tree in Baltimore. His love of
classical cooking led him to a small town bordering Germany, France, and
Switzerland, where he spent an apprenticeship at the Michelin-starred Romantik
Hotel Spielweg, under the direction of famed German chef Karl-Josef Fuchs.
After returning to New Orleans, Besh opened Graham's as Kevin Graham's chef
de cuisine and later held the same title at the renowned La Provence restaurant.
These restaurants collected accolades under his direction, including a four-star
rating by The Mobil Restaurant Guide, four diamonds by the American
Automobile Association, and five beans by Gregory Roberts of the New Orleans
Times-Picayune. As executive chef for Artesia, he was named one of
Food and Wine magazine's Top 10 Best New Chefs of 1999, and New Orleans
Magazine honored him as Best New Chef of 1998.
Besh opened Restaurant August in New Orleans' Warehouse
District in 2001. It was named Best New Restaurant by New Orleans Magazine
and listed in Gourmet magazine's 2003 Guide to America's Best
Restaurant August was one of the first restaurants to open after Hurricane
Katrina ravaged New Orleans, and Chef Besh has been actively involved in efforts
locally and nationally to raise funds for hurricane victims.