5@5 - Chef John Besh
September 9th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Cookbook author, restaurateur, James Beard winner and darn good chef John Besh is owner of six New Orleans restaurants - August, Besh Steak, Lüke, La Provence, American Sector and Domenica.

When he's not cooking up the foodways of his native southern Louisiana, you might just find him chanting "Who dat?" for his beloved New Orleans Saints. With the NFL season officially kicking off tonight as the Saints defend their Super Bowl title against the Minnesota Vikings, it only seemed fitting that Chef Besh offer up his pre-game eating route to the Superdome.

5 Things to Eat Before Going to Watch the New Orleans Saints Kick Butt: John Besh

1. Cafe au Lait and Beignets at Cafe du Monde
"It's a good idea to get an early start with breakfast so that you may properly plan where to enjoy your next meal. Don't discount the beignets - no trip to New Orleans would be complete without them. No matter the temperature outside, it's never to hot to enjoy a strong cup of coffee and chicory, always served with hot milk. This sets the mood for the rest of the day. Gaze out over Jackson Square, people watch and decide at breakfast where to meet up for lunch."

2. Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo at Dooky Chase for a pre-lunch bite
"Leaving the French Quarter you'll head toward Mid-City on Orleans Avenue, where you'll pass through the Tremé neighborhood. The cornerstone to the Tremé is Dooky Chase Restaurant, which has served up the best Creole food in the city for generations. Heads of state go out of their way for Chef Leah Chase's gumbos. I love her shrimp or seafood gumbos the best, but you can't go wrong with anything there. Don't fill up though, we've got more to eat just down the street on Iberville, a few minutes from Dooky's."

3. Frenchuletta at Liuzza's in mid-city
"This is the joint of all joints - great food, great atmosphere and great service. As for most any restaurant in New Orleans, let the server tell you what you should have. If you like the muffuletta then you'll love the Frenchuletta, which is a warm sandwich of mortadella, various salami, Chisesi ham, molten mozzarella and provolone and piles of homemade spicy olive salad served pressed on a French bread loaf. The frozen mugs of beer are a must as well. It'll get you in the spirit and help you strategize your next stop for an early bite to eat before the game."

4. Grilled Oysters at Drago's
"You'll want to get downtown early to find that perfect parking spot and once you do, drop into Tommy Cvitanovich's Drago's Restaurant for a few dozen grilled oysters. Get there early as it'll be a mad house. Each oyster is shucked and dropped onto the grill, where it's topped with a mixture of melted butter, lemon juice, peppers and Parmesan cheese. As the juices begin to boil, the plump oysters begin to seize up and absorb the smokey flavors of the grill - truly unbelievable!"

5. Crab meat au Gratin at the Bon Ton Café
"Drago's gets far too busy as kick-off draws near, so leave early and begin walking up Poydras Street to the Dome. It'll be just a couple of blocks before you'll realize that life is too short not to cross the street and duck into the Bon Ton Café, which has been serving up the city's best version of South Louisiana country food for over 100 years. Enjoy a hot, baked dish of crab meat cheesy goodness, served with the obligatory French bread, which you slather with the creamy lumps of crab meat that most certainly come from the sweet and briny crabs of Lake Pontchartrain. Get a Rum Ramsey in a go-cup, or better yet, get a double Rum Ramsey in a go-cup so that you stay cool and happy for the rest of your walk to the Dome, just 10 blocks away."

Got a favorite pre-game bite? Hike your suggestions to the comment section.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Celebrity Chefs • Cuisines • John Besh • New Orleans • New Orleans • Think • Travel


soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. wow

    His two teams to win are NYG or the Pats retards. Two of the bluest areas of the US. Obviously hes being sarcastic... unless hes just that dumb.

    September 9, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  2. Michael

    Ah...Beignets. Something I'll miss from the Big Easy...

    September 9, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  3. patriots

    "Liberal football teams can never win."

    The patriots are in Boston, you know.... massachusetts.

    September 9, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  4. Mary J

    The crab meat au gratin sounds really good.

    September 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  5. CajunB

    Zapps Who Dat potato chips are needed for any Saints party. Crab au Gratin is good, but seafood au Gratin is the best! I made some for our Saints party tonight.

    September 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  6. Yum

    Liuzza's is awesome!

    September 9, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  7. Jdizzle McHammerpants

    Grilled oysters sound interesting. Oddly enough, I have never eaten them outside of raw. Just realized that. Hmm. Interesting.

    September 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
    • nolagirl28

      Dragos chargrilled oysters are the BEST thing ever! I hated oysters until someone made me try these and I've never had anything sooooooo good!

      September 9, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  8. Jdizzle McHammerpants

    Who dat?? for sure. Go Niners! NFC West Champions 2010

    September 9, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
    • Truth

      The niners are WAY too liberal to win anything this year. Until they get their heads straight on defense, taxes and Afghanistan, they will be lucky to go 8-8.

      September 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Did you recycle that, Truth? Tsk, tsk. I expect more from you.

        September 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
      • Truth

        Not recycled, just always relevant. Liberal football teams can never win. It will either be New England or NYG this year. Take that to the bank, before Obumbler bails them out again.

        September 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
    • deathbydonuts

      my god. go seahawks

      September 9, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
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