Southern Chef John Besh Picks New York’s Best Newfangled Fried Chicken

Photo: Melissa Hom

New Orleans–based chef and restaurateur John Besh is one of the names synonymous with Southern cooking. In addition to presiding over his six NOLA restaurants (including the much-lauded August), Besh has a new public-television show, Chef John Besh’s New Orleans, and he’s co-sponsor of the Chef’s Move scholarship. So when the chef was in town recently, we asked him to weigh in on that enduring NYC craze: fried chicken. Grub Street took Besh to six of the city’s nouveau-fried-fowl purveyors, the Redhead, Pies-N-Thighs, the Commodore, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Peels, and Hill Country Chicken, asking him to rate each bird on a five-point system for each of three categories: crispness, juiciness, and flavor. The winner might surprise you, but given that Besh’s second cookbook, My Family Table (out in November), will devote a whole chapter to fried chicken, it’s a safe bet that you can trust his taste.