Mardi Gras Favorites

Celebrate Mardi Gras in style with these recipes from Chef John Besh of Restaurant August in New Orleans:

Mardi Gras Pan Fried Oyster BLT

Serves one

Time: 15 minutes


6 freshly shucked Louisiana oysters

1 egg white, lightly beaten

2 tsp aioli

1 pinch micro greens

1 sliced brioche, toasted

1/4 cup mixed red, yellow and green grape tomatoes, peeled

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 dash 25-year-old balsamic vinegar

1 pinch minced chive

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup seasoned flour

1 pinch cayenne

2 pinch celery salt

2 pinch onion powder

2 pinch garlic powder

2 sprigs freshly picked thyme

1 tsp freshly chopped parsley

1/4 cup canola oil

3 slices crispy apple smoked bacon

Salt and pepper to taste


In a sauté pan heat the canola oil over a medium high flame. Season the oysters with salt and pepper, dip into the egg whites and toss into a mixture of seasoned flour, cornmeal, spices and herbs. Place the oysters into the hot canola oil and allow cooking for about 15 seconds on each side. Season the tomatoes with salt, pepper, vinegar, chives and extra virgin olive oil. Place the tomatoes over a well-toasted brioche crouton and place onto a serving plate. Crumble the bacon over the tomatoes. After cooking the oysters, remove prom the pan and allow them to drain over some absorbent towels for a moment. Place the oysters over the tomatoes and top them with a dollop of aioli, which you in turn cover with a pinch of micro greens or any lettuce sprout.

To serve:

Garnish the plate with additional chopped chives, chive oil and beet juice if you please.

This is our version of an “August” Po-Boy.

The Besh Barbecue Shrimp

Serves six


2 pounds jumbo shrimp

3 cups of oyster water

3 cups of Worcestershire sauce

3 cups of shrimp shells

1Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon Creole seasoning

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1and ½ cups of heavy cream

1and ½ cups of butter

2 teaspoons of salt

1 large loaf of bread


In a heavy bottom saucepan, lightly toast the shrimp shells for five minutes.

Add the Oyster water, Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, the Creole seasoning, cloves, bay leaf and the lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and let the liquid reduce by half.

In another large pot sauté the shrimp half way with a little olive oil and season with the salt and remaining pepper.

Add the barbecue base and heavy cream and let the shrimp finish cooking

Stir in the butter and serve with warm bread.