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Lüke’s Celebrity Chef, John Besh, Shares the Love

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John Besh (center) talks with guests at Lüke.

For the past week, chef John Besh has been in San Antonio helping the staff at his restaurant Lüke, 125 E. Houston St., get ready for a big opening night party on Thursday.

The River Walk brasserie, a sister of Besh’s Lüke in New Orleans, opened late last month, just in time for Thanksgiving.

An elbow-room-only crowd welcomed the celebrated chef and author of “My New Orleans: The Cookbook,” who divided his time between talking with the crowd and stopping to pick up a dish or direct a guest to one of the food stations.

“It’s a blessing,” says Besh of the success of Lüke thus far. “This is a bigger space but the spirit, the soul of the original Lüke is really here.”

Sautéed shrimp for a tasty Shrimp and Grits at Lüke.

What surprises have Besh encountered in getting acquainted with the local palate?

“I was surprised at how popular some of the things we have on the men have been. Like the choucroute (sauerkraut and sausage) and fresh oysters. ” And, “the Croque Madame and Croque Monsieur sandwiches outsell our burger,” he says.

It’s been a lot of work for Besh during the past week. Try telling that to his sons, though, who are back at home in New Orleans. “They think I’m off at Schlitterbahn or (Fiesta Texas) or Sea World,” the chef says with a laugh.

Besh’s business partner, Stephen McHugh, is chef at at the local Lüke.  The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner. For information, call 210-227-5853 (LUKE).

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