Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chef John Besh Kicks Off the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival & Debuts New Cooking Show on American Public Television

AUSTIN, TX (March 17, 2011)— TV Personality and chef John Besh will kick off the four-day culinary showdown at the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival, headlining the Stars Across Texas Classic, Thursday, March 31, a supreme tasting event showcasing 25 top chefs from the Lone Star State set to the tune of fine wines and spirits—both Texan and international.Besh’s benchmark New Orleans’ fine dining restaurants extended to Texas last fall with the opening of Lüke San Antonio River Walk. His list of culinary accolades includes the James Beard Award for Best Chef of the Southeast, Top 10 Best New Chefs by Food & Wine Magazine, finalist on the Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef” and the winner of “Iron Chef America,” besting renowned TV Chef Mario Batali.

Besh’s latest television endeavor, “Chef John Besh's New Orleans,” debuts in April on American Public Television.Besh will pay homage to the Big Easy in the new cooking series, which will begin airing nationwide this April on Public Television Stations (check local listings).

Chef Besh’s world-class, award-winning cuisine springs from roots deep in the food culture of his southern Louisiana heritage. The series, shot in high definition, is a tribute to and celebration of the food he loved as a boy growing up on the bayous, refined in his years of study in America and Europe, and brought back home where his six New Orleans based restaurants are indelible parts of Louisiana’s restaurant landscape. During the series, John offers New Orleans classics along with contemporary dishes for a rich gumbo of cooking technique, food history, and personal memories. The breakdown of the episodes and more can be found here.

Each half-hour episode, shot at the WYES New Orleans studios, will draw from Chef Besh’s cookbook, My New Orleans: 200 of My Favorite Recipes and Stories from My Hometown (McMeel), which was nominated for a 2010 James Beard Foundation Award. He will release his next cookbook, My Family Table, in November 2011.

Chef Besh has been the recipient of numerous top industry accolades, including the James Beard Award for Best Chef of the Southeast, Food & Wine magazine’s “Top 10 Best Chefs in America,” Food Arts Silver Spoon Award and the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s 'Restaurateur of the Year.’ Gourmet magazine twice rated restaurant August in its “America's Top 50 Restaurants.”

He has also represented New Orleans on several popular television series including “Iron Chef America,” “Top Chef,” “Top Chef Masters,” “The Today Show,” “The Paula Deen Show,” “CBS Early Show,” “Martha Stewart,” and the “Rachael Ray” show. Chef Besh also hosted a recent TLC series, “Inedible to Incredible.”

About John Besh
Married and father of four boys, Chef Besh, is proprietor of six award-winning restaurants in New Orleans - August; Lüke; Besh Steak; Domenica; American Sector, which is located on the campus of the National World War II Museum; and La Provence, a rural restaurant in Lacombe, Louisiana. Most recently his first restaurant opened outside of Louisiana, Lüke San Antonio. In addition to his culinary expertise, Chef Besh is a proud U.S. military veteran. After attending the Culinary Institute of America and apprenticeships in Germany and France, Besh led a squad of infantry marines in combat to liberate the Kuwait International Airport during Operation Desert Storm as a non-commissioned officer of the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He is also deeply involved in several charitable organizations in New Orleans.

About WYES
WYES was founded in 1953 on one fundamental idea: that education could be enhanced and made available to all through technology. It was the first public television station serving Louisiana and Mississippi, the 12th in the nation, and is the most utilized non-profit organization in our two states with over a half-million people using our broadcasts, outreach activities and web site each week. It charges no fees, constructs no barriers as it strives to be the most accessible educational, artistic and cultural resource in southeast Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

About APT
American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to America’s public television stations since 1961. In 2009, APT distributed 56 of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles. Among its 300 new program titles per year are prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramatic series, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies, including For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots, A Ripple of Hope Rick Steves' Europe, Newsline, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, America's Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Lidia's Italy, P.Allen Smith's Garden Home, Murdoch Mysteries, Doc Martin, Rosemary and Thyme, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, The Great American Songbook and John Denver: The Wildlife Concert. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. In 2006, APT launched Create® – the TV channel featuring the best of public television's lifestyle programming. APT is also a partner in the WORLD™ channel expansion project including its web presence at For more information about APT’s programs and services, visit for more information on Create, visit

Wyes Media Contact:
Aislinn Hinyup, WYES Promotion Manager, (504) 838-0364,

John Besh Contact:
Kendra Borowski, The Door, (212) 905-6196,

Lüke San AntonioContact:
Paula Biehler, Crave Communications, (512)328-3935,

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