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My New Orleans: The Cookbook

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My New Orleans will change the way you look at New Orleans cooking and the way you see World-famous chef John Besh. It's 16 chapters of culture, history, essay and insight, and pure goodness. Besh tells us the story of his New Orleans by the season and by the dish. Archival, four-color, location photography along with ingredient information make the Big Easy easy to tackle My New Orleans will change the way you look at New Orleans cooking and the way you see World-famous chef John Besh. It's 16 chapters of culture, history, essay and insight, and pure goodness. Besh tells us the story of his New Orleans by the season and by the dish. Archival, four-color, location photography along with ingredient information make the Big Easy easy to tackle in home kitchens. Cooks will salivate over the 200 recipes that honor and celebrate everything New Orleans. Bite by bite John Besh brings us New Orleans cooking like we've never tasted before. It's the perfect blend of contemporary French techniques with indigenous Southern Louisiana products and know-how. His amazing new offering is exclusively brought to fans and foodies everywhere by Andrews McMeel. From Mardi Gras, to the shrimp season, to the urban garden, to gumbo weather, boucherie (the season of the pig), and everything tasty in between, Besh gives a sampling of New Orleans that will have us all craving for more. The boy from the Bayou isn't just an acclaimed chef with an exceptional pallet. Besh is a chef with a heart. The ex-marine's passion for the Crescent City, its people, and its livelihood are main courses making him a leader of the city's culinary recovery and resilience after the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. What People Are Saying "John Besh is one of the best American chefs of his generation. His extensive knowledge of true Louisiana dishes and traditions adds tremendous credibility to his writing." --Paul Prudhomme, chef and owner of K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen Magic Seasoning Blends "In his definitive tome, My New Orleans, John Besh captures the true, sweet, and honest voice of a clarinet playing the jazzy song of one of our most deliciously exclusive regional American kitchens." --Mario Batali, Iron Chef, restaurateur, author "This book is an act of soul. Maestro Besh lives the life he cooks; he doesn't just tell us how to prepare Louisiana favorites, he teaches us what these dishes mean, with an emphasis on how hospitality can enrich civilization." --Wynton Marsalis, musician "John will take you into the heartland of the South, rich with traditions, stories, and of course, its amazing cuisine!" --Daniel Boulud, chef, restaurateur, and author A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Cafe Reconcile, a New Orleans-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing at-risk youth an opportunity to learn life and interpersonal skills, and operational training for successful entry into the hospitality and restaurant industries.


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My New Orleans will change the way you look at New Orleans cooking and the way you see World-famous chef John Besh. It's 16 chapters of culture, history, essay and insight, and pure goodness. Besh tells us the story of his New Orleans by the season and by the dish. Archival, four-color, location photography along with ingredient information make the Big Easy easy to tackle My New Orleans will change the way you look at New Orleans cooking and the way you see World-famous chef John Besh. It's 16 chapters of culture, history, essay and insight, and pure goodness. Besh tells us the story of his New Orleans by the season and by the dish. Archival, four-color, location photography along with ingredient information make the Big Easy easy to tackle in home kitchens. Cooks will salivate over the 200 recipes that honor and celebrate everything New Orleans. Bite by bite John Besh brings us New Orleans cooking like we've never tasted before. It's the perfect blend of contemporary French techniques with indigenous Southern Louisiana products and know-how. His amazing new offering is exclusively brought to fans and foodies everywhere by Andrews McMeel. From Mardi Gras, to the shrimp season, to the urban garden, to gumbo weather, boucherie (the season of the pig), and everything tasty in between, Besh gives a sampling of New Orleans that will have us all craving for more. The boy from the Bayou isn't just an acclaimed chef with an exceptional pallet. Besh is a chef with a heart. The ex-marine's passion for the Crescent City, its people, and its livelihood are main courses making him a leader of the city's culinary recovery and resilience after the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. What People Are Saying "John Besh is one of the best American chefs of his generation. His extensive knowledge of true Louisiana dishes and traditions adds tremendous credibility to his writing." --Paul Prudhomme, chef and owner of K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen Magic Seasoning Blends "In his definitive tome, My New Orleans, John Besh captures the true, sweet, and honest voice of a clarinet playing the jazzy song of one of our most deliciously exclusive regional American kitchens." --Mario Batali, Iron Chef, restaurateur, author "This book is an act of soul. Maestro Besh lives the life he cooks; he doesn't just tell us how to prepare Louisiana favorites, he teaches us what these dishes mean, with an emphasis on how hospitality can enrich civilization." --Wynton Marsalis, musician "John will take you into the heartland of the South, rich with traditions, stories, and of course, its amazing cuisine!" --Daniel Boulud, chef, restaurateur, and author A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Cafe Reconcile, a New Orleans-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing at-risk youth an opportunity to learn life and interpersonal skills, and operational training for successful entry into the hospitality and restaurant industries.

30 review for My New Orleans: The Cookbook

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    I wish I had the money to buy this book, but I don't so borrowing a copy from the library will have to do. If you want to cook classic Louisiana dishes, I would highly recommend you check out this book. Recipes contained within run the gamut from traditional to modern to reinvented to creative and surprising. The book is set up differently from most cookbooks. Instead of sections for appetizers, poultry, meat, desserts, etc., Besh has sectioned his book by holiday/event, or seasonal ingredients, I wish I had the money to buy this book, but I don't so borrowing a copy from the library will have to do. If you want to cook classic Louisiana dishes, I would highly recommend you check out this book. Recipes contained within run the gamut from traditional to modern to reinvented to creative and surprising. The book is set up differently from most cookbooks. Instead of sections for appetizers, poultry, meat, desserts, etc., Besh has sectioned his book by holiday/event, or seasonal ingredients, or one specific ingredient such as crayfish. Within most chapters you can find appetizers, sauces, breads, desserts, and entrees. They are all mixed together just as they would be for a meal. This is an interesting approach and it doesn't really bother me, but if you want to just see the desserts, it will take a little more effort. Recommend this book for people who love seafood. There are chapters for fish, crayfish, blue crabs, and oysters. My favorite chapter was the Mardi Gras chapter. Favorite and traditional recipes such as red beans & rice, beignets, King Cake, and Brandy Milk Punch were included. I also noted recipes for grilled oysters with spicy butter, chicken & smoked sausage gumbo, crab boil, crab bisque, simple strawberry & Creole cream cheese ice cream, and stuffed blue crabs. There is also a great starter chapter with the basics - rice, stocks, sauces. At the beginning of each chapter is a lengthy (for a cookbook) narrative from the author. In it, he writes about the history of the dishes, ingredients, and the importance of them to NOLA, regionality, and his own personal anecdotes. They are well-written and make this a very readable cookbook. I also like how he writes his recipes. He actually uses the term "or so" as in 1/2 a cup or so. Cook for 10 minutes or so. The measurements and cooking times are there as guidelines. He's casual in his recipes and that makes it much more approachable for the home cook. Most recipes are short, easy to read, and are clear. The design of the page is good also with lots of white space so the text isn't too jumbled and crowded on the page. The overall size of this book is large. It's full of gorgeous photographs not only of the food, but of the region - people, places, ingredients. This is a book I would like to have on my shelf all the time next to my other NOLA cookbooks, of which I am actually collecting quite a few. It's a standout addition to any kitchen.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Steven Peterson

    The author begins by saying (Page 1): "This book is the story of a dreamy, starry-eyed boy brought up in the shadows of New Orleans. . . . I wrote 'My New Orleans' in the same spirit in which I launched my restaurants; it's a book dedicated to roots and rituals, to the way I cook." He discusses how he cooks on pages 9-11. Then a brief discussion of how he makes roux (different from how I do it)and other building block ingredients, such as chicken stock, creole spices, aioli, and so on. But the h The author begins by saying (Page 1): "This book is the story of a dreamy, starry-eyed boy brought up in the shadows of New Orleans. . . . I wrote 'My New Orleans' in the same spirit in which I launched my restaurants; it's a book dedicated to roots and rituals, to the way I cook." He discusses how he cooks on pages 9-11. Then a brief discussion of how he makes roux (different from how I do it)and other building block ingredients, such as chicken stock, creole spices, aioli, and so on. But the heart of any cookbook is its recipes. I have not done much New Orleans cooking, so I find this book of considerable interest. A colleague of mine is from Louisiana, and he makes some neat crawfish dishes. And this cookbook has a number of recipes featuring this critter. Here's one that I am intrigued by: Crawfish etouffe. Ingredients: canola oil, flour, onion, celery, red bell pepper, garlic, thyme, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, tomato, shellfish stock, butter, crawfish, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, salt, pepper, and Louisiana white rice. Once ingredients are assembled and prepared, the actual cooking process is pretty straightforward, beginning with a roux and proceeding therefrom. I enjoy red beans and rice. And the book provides a recipe. 13 ingredients! Some of the food isn't so healthy (rendered bacon fat, for example), but this sounds like the end result would be quite tasty! I have enjoyed jambalaya before. And here is a recipe for shrimp, chicken, and Andouille jambalaya. Other recipes that caught my fancy: shrimp creole, rare seared tuna with crushed figs, seafood gumbo, and shrimp remoulade. Many others, too! At any rate, this is a nice cookbook of recipes associated with New Orleans. If you are interested in this style cuisine, this would be a good addition to your kitchen library.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    A stunningly beautiful cookbook that reads like a novel. John was born and raised in southern Louisiana and still lives there with his family. His recipes seem easy to follow and range from the very simple (Chilled tomato soup with tapanade) to more complex (oyster and artichoke soup). The pictures are lush and the stories and genuine. Made me want to jump on a plane and eat my way through Louisiana.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mrs.

    Gorgeous book that reads like a biography. The recipes sometimes call for many ingredients, but are doable. The focus is on New Orleans cooking and ingredients. What jumps out is the love Besh has for New Orleans and its people.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    My brother-in-law and sister-in-law gave me John Besh's My New Orleans for Christmas. John Besh has many restaurants in the New Orleans area. I've been to Restaurant August, Domenica, and we never miss brunch at Luke on our weekend visits to New Orleans. My husband read My New Orleans cover to cover first, and I almost stole it away from him before he finished. As he was reading the cookbook, he read many of the stories and recipes from the cookbook aloud to me and would have my mouth watering ev My brother-in-law and sister-in-law gave me John Besh's My New Orleans for Christmas. John Besh has many restaurants in the New Orleans area. I've been to Restaurant August, Domenica, and we never miss brunch at Luke on our weekend visits to New Orleans. My husband read My New Orleans cover to cover first, and I almost stole it away from him before he finished. As he was reading the cookbook, he read many of the stories and recipes from the cookbook aloud to me and would have my mouth watering every night right before bed. I probably dreamed of creole cooking for a week straight! I knew that this was going to be a cookbook I actually cooked from... unlike The French Laundry cookbook that I've ogled but have yet to try a darn recipe. I made Besh's the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo for the Saints NFC Championship, and it was mighty good! I left out the okra, though, because I just don’t love okra. I made Emeril's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo back in October, and it was neat to compare the two batches. I cheated on the Besh batch because I pulled the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken. For the Emeril batch, I used only thigh meat. The thigh meat was better, I think, but the recipes were really similar. For the Super Bowl, I decided to make the Shrimp, Chicken, and Andouille Jambalaya and the Mardi Gras King Cake recipes from My New Orleans. The jambalaya was really good. It was a celebration of pork: bacon, andouille, ground pork sausage, and sliced smoked sausage. We don't eat much pork in our house, so it was definitely a treat. I used crawfish tails instead of shrimp, and that added a yummy twist. I have some reservations on the King Cake recipe. The recipe said the baking temperature and time should be 375F for 30 minutes. I thought the temp was a little too high, and sure enough it turned out dry and a little too brown. I should have pulled it out of the oven earlier or baked it at 350F. Also, Besh's recipe had me sift the cinnamon and nutmeg into the flour. Next time I might try to roll out the dough, shake on some cinnamon sugar, and roll it up jellyroll-style so that there are swirls of cinnamon throughout the braids. So far, I love this cookbook. Gorgeous photos and wonderful stories of John Besh's New Orleans.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ladyknightstar

    This is not just a cookbook, it's a joyful testament to the human spirit. This should be handed down for generations as a classic cookbook of American literature. Of course, I am one of the people who thinks it is high time cookbooks were entered into literature anthologies. (Fanny Farmer is long overdue a place in Norton as far as I'm concerned.) The narrative voice, which is both down home and sophisticated at the same time, draws me in, time and again. I enjoyed the contemporary take on New O This is not just a cookbook, it's a joyful testament to the human spirit. This should be handed down for generations as a classic cookbook of American literature. Of course, I am one of the people who thinks it is high time cookbooks were entered into literature anthologies. (Fanny Farmer is long overdue a place in Norton as far as I'm concerned.) The narrative voice, which is both down home and sophisticated at the same time, draws me in, time and again. I enjoyed the contemporary take on New Orleans food, which included fresh and organic locally grown delights. It seemed to say this is how people in New Orleans have always cooked. Yet, it is a new take, with plenty of creativity proving it take more than a hurricane to wipe out these roots. There are pictures with people in their capris and shorts cooking and gardening with family and friends. The recipes are arranged so it is easy to make a menu plan.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dona

    I slowly browsed through this book rather than read it through. It was many books wrapped into one big book - somewhat autobiographical, historical (with great vintage photos), regional, and of course culinary. This would a good book to own and to read randomly, or closely and with purpose. There were many recipes that I probably would never make, but there were just as many that charmed and intrigued me: Oyster Dressing Grandmere, Bourbon Pecan Pie, Mirliton and Shrimp Dressing, Ragout of Crawf I slowly browsed through this book rather than read it through. It was many books wrapped into one big book - somewhat autobiographical, historical (with great vintage photos), regional, and of course culinary. This would a good book to own and to read randomly, or closely and with purpose. There were many recipes that I probably would never make, but there were just as many that charmed and intrigued me: Oyster Dressing Grandmere, Bourbon Pecan Pie, Mirliton and Shrimp Dressing, Ragout of Crawfish Over Fresh Pasta, Rare Seared Tuna with Crushed Figs, and Jalapeno Cheese Grits to name just a handful. I especially liked the chapter "Feast Days," in which Besh contemplates the relationship of faith and food, "All our holy days are rooted in one food tradition or another; sometimes we feast and sometimes we abstain." Very enjoyable!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I was inspired to "read" this cookbook (this is one you actually can read) by his opening of Luke in SA. This book probably weighs 50 lbs and is full of beautiful pictures of food and New Orleans life. Lots of old photos and you really get a sense of the history of Norleans. I never really read or tried any of the recipies, I just looked at the pretty pictures and read the descriptions of New Orleans food culture (great section about duck hunting preceeding duck recipes, etc...). This is a great I was inspired to "read" this cookbook (this is one you actually can read) by his opening of Luke in SA. This book probably weighs 50 lbs and is full of beautiful pictures of food and New Orleans life. Lots of old photos and you really get a sense of the history of Norleans. I never really read or tried any of the recipies, I just looked at the pretty pictures and read the descriptions of New Orleans food culture (great section about duck hunting preceeding duck recipes, etc...). This is a great book about New Orleans, I can't imagine how good the food must taste. * OH! and apparently, in order to work for Besh, you have to be fucking gorgeous! The back cover is good eye candy of his staff.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    Stellar job by Chef John Besh! Have cooked seven recipes so far from this book and all have been fabulous. It is a gorgeous book and a fitting tribute to a unique city. Read the full review here on my blog. http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/20...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Skeetor

    A great, big, beautiful book with lots of photographs and background information (both personal, historical, and about items included in the recipe). There are tons of wonderful seafood recipes and New Orleans classics (i.e., red beans and rice). Also, there are some new takes on dishes such as Jaegerschnitzel.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    For me, this was more about Besh's stories than his recipes. Sure, the food sounded great, but it enriched his tales rather than being the main course. He has an engaging voice, and talks freely of his childhood, something so interesting to me because it's miles away from what I experienced.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Roger Sherman

    An important addition to every cooks collection. John shows us his New Orleans. It's organized by season and includes wonderful personal stories, archival photographs. Produced by the stellar Dorothy Kalins.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shelly

    Wonderful easy to fix New Orleans recipes for the local New Orleanean or those who don't live in the area or who have always been interested in the food culture. Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez! (Let the good times roll)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Upham

    I've had the pleasure of eating his food, and thanking him for it face to face long before the cult of the celebrity was hosted upon chefs. An amazing chef, and an equally thoughtful book. If you only buy one book on New Orleans cooking, this is it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    A must have, not just a cookbook, but a history lesson and an autobiographical look into his belief in the food and culture of New Orleans. Foodies rejoice!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Woodman

    Excellent--lots of the recipes that you can have at August and Luke--the shrimp and grits are devine! As is the Pork Rillette.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Constance

    This is an amazing guide through the wonders of Cajun food. His true passion for New Orleans comes through so clearly.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Eiseman

    Checking out some fun recipes and remembering good times had in New Orleans.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Danette

    LOVE. Giant, lush & lovely - cooking good food from the heart. Makes me homesick, I wanna eat the book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Greta Fisher

    A very well organized cook book with exellent recipes. So far the family favorite is Crawfish Pie!

  21. 4 out of 5

    NList

    Awesome eye candy!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    Beautiful book!!!!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    Supersized, bulky but fun book with adapted recipes & old favorites. Uses local ingredients like scavanged wild chanterelle, hunters' game. Good photos. I have not tried any of his recipes yet.

  24. 5 out of 5

    T.

    Beautiful photos with nice history bits, but unless you're an experienced cook, this really isn't for you.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  26. 4 out of 5

    Vaike Lillemagi

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

  28. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nakia Barriere

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alex C Koch

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