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John Besh cooking show goes National

Pam in NJ Apr 7, 2011 05:56 AM

Watching Chef Besh on the Today Show this morning. Matt Lauer announces that he will star in a new cooking show. Is this going to spread him too thin and have a negative affect on his restaurants? Would love to hear your thoughts.

  1. r
    rasputina Apr 7, 2011 04:42 PM

    I watched his new show last weekend. It was pretty good. I don't watch the today show and really don't care if he is too busy to do their show but I trust that he is capable of making the right decisions when it comes to time management.

    6 Replies
    1. re: rasputina
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      Breezychow Apr 7, 2011 04:57 PM

      While I've never had an opportunity to dine at one of Mr. Besh's restaurants, I've enjoyed watching him on Iron Chef America & have also enjoyed his cookbooks. What channel is his new show on?

      1. re: Breezychow
        d
        DDR4040 Apr 8, 2011 12:02 AM

        PBS. It's called "Chef John Besh's New Orleans". It's OK, but nothing ground breaking. It's your basic studio demo show. And to be honest, it doesn't seem like he is bringing anything new to the table. Just going by the first episode, it looks like a rehash of a lot of shows we've already seen from people like Justin Wilson, Emeril or even John Folse's original "Taste of Louisiana" (before he became a history professor/chef). I enjoyed watching those old shows, but I wonder how much Besh can add to a format that has pretty much been done to death.

        1. re: DDR4040
          greygarious Dec 19, 2011 10:20 PM

          I don't have cable, so the only other time I've seen Besh was on a one-off PBS show with his son, on a fishing boat, then cooking their catch. I know he's very well-respected but find the PBS series a snooze - literally. The lighting is a bit dark, and he rarely faces the camera. Mostly we see the shock of hair covering half his forehead as he talks into the stove. I have heard that, understandably, prepping while looking at the camera is too daunting a task for most chefs. His food is very appealing but the lack of enthusiasm/intonation in his voice, and the other technical issues, make it impossible for me to pay attention all the way through. Either my attention wanders or I nod off. Is it just me? I hang on every word from the likes of Hubert Keller, Julia Child, and Jacques Pepin.

          1. re: greygarious
            pamf Dec 20, 2011 06:27 AM

            It's not just you. I'm a big fan, been to a couple of his restaurants in New Orleans, love his recent cookbook. But on TV he comes off as very stilted. There is always the possibility that he will improve with experience.

            1. re: greygarious
              Terrie H. Dec 20, 2011 06:41 AM

              I am also disappointed in his show in some respects. The production might as well have been done by a home cook on Skype - the lighting, camera work and sound are not what I would expect of a PBS level show. He certainly makes food I'd like to eat, though.

              1. re: Terrie H.
                a
                acgold7 Dec 20, 2011 12:29 PM

                There is a conscious effort on the part of some producers these days to make shows look "underproduced" -- i.e. amateurish -- in order to push "authenticity" for an audience used to iPhone videos.

      2. h
        hazelhurst Apr 7, 2011 06:15 AM

        Well, "everyone's doing it" these days. And it is probably a smart move becuase everyone rpedicts food prices are soon to soar and this means dining out will be reduced and lots of places will close up so sock-it-away-while-you-can.

        I am not familiar with the full compement of Mr Besh's stuff so I don;t knowif there are particular items that require The Master's Touch but the whole idea of Chef de Cuisine is (was) to be the four star general overseeing a bunch of highly competent subordinates. No matter what the truth is I am sure he will eb crticized for spreading huimself too thin. See the knock onvirtually any "name chef" who opens up lots of places.

        In 1948, Gaston Magrin, the Commodore-Chef of the French Line (with something like 180 seagoing serfs under him) said that when he retired he would open a place with no more than 50 seats because that was the most that any chef could responsibly care for.

        2 Replies
        1. re: hazelhurst
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          Bunson Apr 7, 2011 09:13 AM

          Most of these celebrity chefs have multiple restaurants, as long as they have a properly trained staff the food shouldn't suffer. David Chang, Grant Achatz, Thomas Keller, Eric Ripert all have several restaurants where the chef can't be hands on all the time, but still are able to maintain the level of quality as if they were. John Besh, from what I've seen on TV, is an amazing chef and shouldn't have a problem with maintaining his current standards with the proper staff in place.

          1. re: Bunson
            chris2269 Apr 7, 2011 04:52 PM

            Also I have heard Gordon Ramsay and others say you get to a point where you have these really really talented chef's under you. You have two choices ...let them leave your organization go out on their own and lose a highly valuable recourse or expand and let them continue to be an asset for your business and grow themselves at the same time. In turn opening up further positions within your organization to nurture and grow talent.

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