Editor’s Note: In honor and memory of Sharon Litwin, The Queen here at NolaVie, we will be publishing a piece from her every day for the next month. Sharon was an advocate and spokeswoman for arts, culture, people, and policies here in New Orleans. Her voice and sharp wit will be greatly missed.
To hear Sharon Litwin interview John Besh on WWNO radio, click here.
John Besh owns nine restaurants (August, Besh Steak, Luke, Luke San Antonio, La Provence, American Sector, Soda Shop, Domenica and Borgne). He’s the author of two award-winning cookbooks (My New Orleans: 200 of My Favorite Recipes and My Family Table); formed his own philanthropic foundation; and just concluded production of a new 26-part cooking series for WYES.
Even thinking about the complex planning and work required for all these enterprises would likely exhaust most people. But Besh, who grew up in the Slidell area and still lives nearby, seems to thrive on it. For him, having a television crew in his home kitchen as he worked on his latest television enterprise was the perfect blending of family and work.
The cameras in his kitchen, Besh says, allowed him to be a typical home chef, cooking “very organically. I’ve always wanted to combine work and family,” he explains. “I wanted to show that if I can cook at home, so can you. What I want is to get people back to their family table.”
The beautifully-shot series demonstrates family recipes ranging from his own grandmother’s fried chicken and potato salad to his personal version of fried catfish and coleslaw, along with something he calls Creamy Anything Cauliflower Soup, even such family-favorite desserts as lemon ice box pie and rice pudding crème brûlée.
Besh’s overall desire is to show families that by thinking a little ahead and, he says, “thinking smart” they can plan delicious dishes and put them on the their own kitchen tables every night of the week. He knows from his own experience how hard that can be. He and his wife Jennifer are the parents of four young boys whose daily after-school activities range from trumpet and piano lessons to every kind of little-boy sports, leaving little time each evening for creative cooking.
So for harried moms and dads looking for ways to provide tasty and nourishing meals for themselves and their kids, check into Chef John Besh’s Family Table premiering on WYES Saturday, April 6 at 9:30 a.m. and airing again on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. For more information, go to www.wyes.org.
Sharon Litwin is president of NolaVie. Email comments to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.