Something I appreciate about writing is how, at least for me, it’s an internal conversation that allows me to clarify my thoughts. Without it, I’m content to think I think x without challenge. Without writing, I don’t have to dig in too deep.
But with writing…
But a blog post, when compared to a book, feels a less formal way to submit something to the world and, I hope, lends itself an ongoing discussion. “Here’s what I think right now, but I’m willing and excited to move, so please push back.”
All that to say — this post has nothing to do with me pretending I know answers. It has everything to do with me asking questions.
I’m co-hosting a podcast with two of my buddies, Alex and Adam, and in the first episode, which is our attempt at putting together a list of the Top 5 pizza spots in New Orleans, we brought up Domenica, which led to a very brief discussion on John Besh. For those that aren’t from New Orleans, Besh owns (owned?) several amazing restaurants in New Orleans, and — this Fall — was outed as a sexual predator. Much of what we know of the incidents are documented here, though this has still left me — and many people I know in New Orleans — with the question, “Is it okay for me to eat at one of Besh’s restaurants?”
One of my regrets in episode #1 is I wish we would have taken more time to talk about this. But we decided we should keep things moving along.
One bit that I’d love clarification on is, to what degree is he still involved with the restaurant group? I know he’s no longer involved in their day-to-day, and I know he’s no longer the CEO (or whatever title he previously held), but I believe he is still a shareholder. Is that correct?
“Then it all changed. During the war it was hell on earth, and I had nothing. I left my family, you know. I was always running, day and night, because the Germans were always right behind me. If you stopped, you died. There was never enough food. I became sicker and sicker from not eating, and I’m not just talking about being skin and bones. I had sores all over my body. It became difficult to move. I wasn’t too good to eat from a garbage can. I ate the parts others wouldn’t eat. If you helped yourself, you could survive. I took whatever I could find. I ate things I wouldn’t tell you about.
“The worst it got was near the end. A lot of people died right at the end, and I didn’t know if I could make it another day. A farmer, a Russian, God bless him, he saw my condition, and he went into his house and came out with a piece of meat for me.”
“He saved your life.”
“I didn’t eat it.”
“You didn’t eat it?”
“It was pork. I wouldn’t eat pork.”
“What do you mean why?”
“What, because it wasn’t kosher?”
“But not even to save your life?”
“If nothing matters, there’s nothing to save.”
If nothing matters, there’s nothing to save.
I think it’s unequivocally terrible what Besh did. I bought pizza at his restaurant last week.
I think the way we treat animals bred for our dinner plates is horrid. I eat meat daily.
I worry aloud about the spiraling state of our environment. What do I do to back up my words?