There's one item that never changes on the menu at La Provence, one of chef John Besh's eight New Orleans restaurants: his gumbo, based on the classic recipe he grew up with. "Gumbo is one of those dishes that's too important to turn into a foam, froth or aspic," Besh says. But while the F&W Best New Chef 1999 grounds every dish he makes in southern Louisiana tradition, he loves to embellish his recipes—serving his shrimp bisque, for instance, with small, chewy tapioca pearls, or adding chicken livers sautéed in duck fat to his Natchitoches meat pies. Here, inspired by Besh's new cookbook, My Family Table, F&W streamlines his restaurant recipes so that they're practical for the home cook.
Natchitoches-Style Meat Pie
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