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Jyl Benson and Sam Hanna
Pelicans v. Pistons
John Besh Sets 'My Family Table'
by Brad Rhines
New Orleans chef-lebrity John Besh steps out of the kitchen and into the limelight today with the release of his second tome on local cooking, My Family Table. Besh will be making the rounds to promote his new book through the end of the year, starting with a few signings and appearances around town this week before making stops in New York, Texas, and Alabama, with a heaping helping of TV appearances undoubtedly thrown in along the way.
Tonight he’ll be Uptown at the Garden District Bookshop, then on to the WWII Museum gift shop on Wednesday, Octavia Books on Thursday, then the Magazine Street oil-and-vinegar emporium Vom Fass on Friday afternoon before heading across the lake to Mandeville Friday night. A complete list of tour stops is available on Besh’s Facebook page.
It’s not unusual for today’s crop of celebrity chefs to spend more time on the press circuit than the hot line, sometimes resulting in backlash and questions of quality at the restaurant, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem for Besh. The former Marine commands a company of eateries around town—August, Luke, Besh Steak, The American Sector, Domenica, and the Soda Shop, opened earlier this year—all of which continue to do brisk business among both tourists and locals in search of food destinations.
Like My New Orleans, his first book, My Family Table focuses on food as family culture. The folks over at Eater got a sneak peek of the book last week and they reported that the recipes include “some ambitious holiday menus, including a 15-dish jazz brunch and a Christmas roast goose feast,” though the book primarily functions as “a system for feeding a large, busy family.” My Family Table also features lots of glossy photos of familiar scenery from around south Louisiana, along with plenty of pics of the chef and his family. We think that’s a good thing, since Besh’s gleaming, perfectly even rows of pearly-whites make for one of the flashiest smiles on television.
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