Chef John Besh

John Besh is a chef and native son dedicated to the culinary riches of southern Louisiana. In his eight restaurants, entrepreneurial pursuits, and public activities, he aims to preserve and promote ingredients, techniques, and heritage. Besh’s cookbooks, My New Orleans and My Family Table, were each recognized with an IACP Award. His third cookbook, “Cooking From The Heart,” was published in fall 2013. He hosts two national public television cooking shows based on the books. The John Besh Foundation, founded in 2011, works to preserve New Orleans’ culinary heritage via initiatives such as the Chefs Move! culinary school scholarship and microloans for local farmers.


Blackened Wild Alaska Cod with Fennel and Orange Salad by Chef John Besh

Lemon Vinaigrette:
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 Tablespoon minced shallot
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced thinly crosswise
4 oranges, peeled and supremed
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of sugar
Salt and Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
6 (6 oz. each) wild Alaska Cod fillets
Blackened seasoning or Creole spice blend, to taste
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh chopped chives
Small sprigs from 1 fresh dill branch

Place all vinaigrette ingredients into a bowl, whisk together until well mixed; set aside

For the salad, place the fennel, oranges, vinaigrette, cayenne pepper and sugar into a medium bowl. Toss gently, then season with salt and pepper.

Season cod with blackened seasoning to taste.  Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the fish and cook 3 to 5 minutes on each side until bronze in color and opaque throughout.  On each of 6 plates, place a piece of cod.  Top fish with one-sixth of the salad mixture.  Garnish with chives and dill.