Why New Orleans Needs to Protect Its Culinary Culture

April 21, 2016
By: Matthew Zuras, Vice

Mere minutes after I sit down with him, chef John Besh interrupts our lunch to get up and pose for a selfie with a nearby diner. Standing with him and chef Aarón Sánchez, the star-struck woman is suddenly in tears. Besh beams and drapes a reassuring arm around her as she snaps a photo.

Such is the magnetism and magnanimity of New Orleans’ lauded chef and restaurateur.

It’s the day before Besh kicks off Fêtes des Chefs, a series of fundraising dinners held in private homes across the city by an all-star lineup of chefs. I’ve joined him at Johnny Sánchez, his Mexican restaurant in New Orleans’ Warehouse District, to talk about the charitable foundation that those dinners will benefit.