John Besh is a good-looking dude. He’s charming. He’s on. It’s clear he’s practiced in the art of finessing —flashing a grin, raising his voice commandingly to punctuate a thought, emitting a halo of unpretentious Southern hospitality. And despite his immense success (nine restaurants, two cookbooks and a James Beard award), he is genuinely modest.
When I met up with him at his most-lauded venture, August, he wore a perfectly rumpled chambray shirt and jeans. Tanned face and white teeth glowing, he insisted that he cuts his own hair and was in need of a shave. Neither was apparent. He might have made a good politician, toeing a line between rough and refined — the farmer gent who could bro down with the blue collar while playing to the swooning of socialites. [read]