World Chefs: Besh, Sánchez bring Mexican flavors to New Orleans

Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:02pm EST
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - American celebrity chefs John Besh and Aarón Sánchez took their version of modern Mexican flavors to New Orleans when they opened a Johnny Sánchez restaurant in the city known for its Creole cuisine.

It is their second Johnny Sánchez eatery and features Sánchez's twists on tacos and familiar Mexican fares using local produce and seafood procured by Besh.

The first Johnny Sánchez opened earlier this year at the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore.

Besh, 46, who operates 10 restaurants, and Texas-born Sánchez, 38, who recently opened Paloma in Stamford, Connecticut, spoke to Reuters about their friendship and how they run their business.

Q: How was Johnny Sánchez conceived?

Besh: I met Aaron 20 some years ago in New Orleans. We started taco parties for fundraising. After a few of them, I said, "Hey this is a lot of fun. Why don't we do something together?"

Q: What can one expect to eat there?

Sánchez: There are a lot of elements of Louisiana food that's similar to Mexico communing around food. We are not doing one dish that's Creole and another Mexican. We are taking a lot of classics and doing our twists to them. There is some authenticity behind it, but we are not doing fusion here.   Continued...

American chefs John Besh (L) and Aaron Sanchez pose in New York May 5, 2014, before the annual James Beard Foundation awards for top U.S. chefs and restaurants, in this handout photo provided by Howard Childs December 26, 2014. REUTERS/Howard Childs/Handout via Reuters