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

Photo: Melissa Hom/Staff or Contracted

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.