World Chefs: Besh focuses on simple, family cooking

Tue Feb 7, 2012 1:13pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - American chef John Besh looked to his wife and four sons for inspiration for his second cookbook book which contains tips and recipes for busy parents and couples to cook simple, delicious meals.

Besh, who has won various awards for his modern New Orleans cuisine, said "My Family Table" was created to help people in the kitchen. His ninth restaurant Borgne, a seafood eatery inspired by Canary Islanders who live in southeast Louisiana, is in the Hyatt Regency in downtown New Orleans and opened last October.

The 43-year-old spoke to Reuters about cooking at home and the importance of families eating together.

Q: How is your second book different from your first?

A: "In the first book, there was a collection of stories and recipes about this one particular city. I like to call them the tribute food of New Orleans, which makes them special and different, and which could be somewhat complex. It's not uncommon for a New Orleans' recipe from shrimp-and-grit to jambalaya to gumbo to have some 20 ingredients in a single dish.

"People loved that book. However, for the most part other than special occasions it's a book that people are talking about but not in terms of its recipes. I want to create a cookbook that really helps people in the kitchen and helps people find the time to cook at home and have a meal at their family table."

Q: Why are families eating together so important to you?

A: "Today's families are different. As humans, we still have the need to actually commune at table. That's the underlying message of this book. I have a busy life, as does my family. This is the way we find time to get together. If we can do it, you can do it. This is the prescription for doing it. So it's every bit as much a cookbook as it is a lifestyle book."   Continued...

<p>Chef John Besh is seen at his restaurant "August" in an undated handout photo. REUTERS/Besh Restaurant Group/Handout</p>