Star Kitchen: John Besh

Food Network’s frequent guest John Besh gives us a tour of his Louisiana kitchen.

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John Besh's Kitchen

John Besh is an accomplished chef— he has 17 restaurants and has published four cookbooks—but in his home kitchen in Slidell, LA, he’s more of a short-order cook. “In the morning with the boys, this is sort of our diner,” says John, who often whips up simple Southern favorites like grits and biscuits here for his wife, Jenifer, and sons Brendan, 21, Jack, 16, Luke, 15, and Andrew, 13. But come Thanksgiving, the space becomes way more than a diner. John and Jenifer, who both came from big local families, will host 60 people for a massive Big Easy feast this year. John will fire up all four of his Viking ovens to crank out turkeys, crawfish cornbread dressing and, true to Louisiana tradition, a huge pot of gumbo. For John, these messy occasions are when his favorite room is at its best. “I love the chaos!” he says.

Custom hood

The stove hood cover is carved from cypress salvaged from an old Blue Plate mayonnaise factory in New Orleans.

Fisherman’s fixture

This pendant light is made out of an old minnow trap, so it fits with the home’s bayou-side location.

Big windows

You don’t see much sunlight when you cook in restaurant kitchens, so John loves all the natural light he gets at home. He takes photos to post on Instagram in the morning, when the light is best.

Marble counters

Some people are reluctant to install high-maintenance Carrara marble counters in the kitchen, but John doesn’t mind the wear and tear. “It shows the scars of being cooked, eaten and entertained on—that’s what I love about it,” he says.

Durable cookware

“These pots are so heavy, I tend to leave them out on the stove,” the chef says of his enameled cast iron. “I always have something stewing in them.”

Antique find

John’s wife, Jenifer, likes to go antiquing along the Gulf Coast; she found their rug at a friend’s shop in Mobile, AL. This patterned Jiya Rug is a new look-alike. From $150; luluandgeorgia.com

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