chef todd pulsinelli
Chef Todd Pulsinelli is the Executive Chef of John Besh's flagship, Restaurant August. Born in Germany and raised in Ohio, Chef Pulsinelli began cooking at a young age in local kitchens and has been working with Chef Besh for over 8 years. Following Katrina, he immediately returned to the city and threw himself into the reopening of August and relief work. Chef Besh then asked Chef Todd to help him open Domenica and later, American Sector. Chef Pulsinelli moved from the American Sector to Besh Steak in 2012 to lead the kitchen as Executive Chef, creating playful and delicious dishes enjoyed by casino goers, tourists and locals. Chef Pulsinelli was named Chef to Watch in 2010 by Louisiana Cookin'. Todd is a dedicated member of the New Orleans' community, serving on the advisory board of the Sankofa Farmers Market and volunteering his time with local organizations such as Cafe Reconcile.
"With each new position Todd has held in our restaurant group, he has continued to demonstrate expertise and leadership in the kitchen while still possessing the desire to learn and grow," said Besh. "He possesses a rare gift of humility that allows him to truly serve our guests as well as teach our cooks at unparalleled levels. Truly one of the finest artisans I have ever known.” - Chef John Besh
Chef Patricia Morton
At just 15 years old, Patricia started working at several homemade ice cream shops, during which this Columbus, Ohio native discovered her passion for dessert.
While working for a local bakery, Patricia’s love of all things pastry intensified, so she enrolled in the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, now known as ICC.
Patricia and her husband, Nick, met while both attending culinary school, and remained in New York City for some time after.
After school Patricia worked at a bakery and for a catering company. Then she met Chef Andrea Bucheli who hired her on the spot for her first restaurant job at Parlor Steak and Fish. As destiny would have it, Patricia visited New Orleans for a wedding and instantly knew she belonged in the Big Easy.
Upon arrival in 2011, Patricia started as a pastry cook at Restaurant August for Chef Kelly Fields, who has been her mentor ever since. Two years later, she became Kelly’s sous chef. Under Chef Kelly's tutelage, Patricia continued to grow and learned the ins and outs of running a pastry kitchen.
In 2015 Patricia took over the Pastry Department at Restaurant August upholding the standards and ethics that the restaurant was built upon.
Chef John Besh
John Besh is a chef and a native son dedicated to the culinary riches of southern Louisiana. In his restaurants, entrepreneurial pursuits, and public activities, he preserves and promotes ingredients, techniques, and heritage one dish at a time.
Besh’s talent and drive have earned him kudos throughout his career: Food & Wine named him one of the “Top 10 Best New Chefs in America.” He won the coveted James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef - Southeast in 2006 and was inducted into the Foundation’s “Who’s Who” in 2014. His twelve acclaimed restaurants (August, Besh Steak, Lüke, Lüke San Antonio, La Provence, Domenica, Pizza Domenica, Borgne, Johnny Sánchez New Orleans, Johnny Sánchez Baltimore, Shaya and Willa Jean) each celebrate the bounty and traditions of the region. His flagship restaurant, August, is a Gayot Top 40 Restaurant and a Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Restaurant, in addition to being nominated in 2012 and 2013 for the James Beard "Outstanding Restaurant” award and in 2014 for “Outstanding Service” award. In January 2016, the Besh Restaurant Group acquired a space in New Orleans to house a new private events venue, dubbed Pigeon & Prince. Executive Chef Erick Loos of La Provence is helming the culinary development for the space.
Besh is the author of four cookbooks: My New Orleans (October 2009) and My Family Table (November 2011), Cooking From The Heart and most recently Besh Big Easy (September 2015). He hosts two national public television cooking shows based on his books, “Chef John Besh’s New Orleans,” which began airing in 2011, and “Chef John Besh’s Family Table,” which debuted in April 2013. He hosted “Hungry Investors” on the Spike Network, in which he traveled around the country with Chef Tiffany Derry and Jon Taffer to assist “diamond in the rough” failing restaurants to meet their potential.
The John Besh Foundation, founded in 2011, works to protect and preserve the culinary heritage and foodways of New Orleans via initiatives such as the Chefs Move! culinary school scholarship and “Milk Money” microloans for local farmers.
He and his wife, Jenifer, live with their four sons in southern Louisiana.
Octavio Mantilla was born in Nicaragua and moved to New Orleans as a child. At sixteen, he got his first job in a restaurant and has worked his way through all the managerial levels. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and an MBA from the University of New Orleans. Octavio helped open Harrah’s Casino & Hotel in New Orleans and then worked in St. Louis as Harrah’s Director of Food Operations. He has opened numerous fine dining restaurants for Harrah’s nationwide.
Octavio returned to New Orleans to be reunited with his old friend Chef John Besh at The Besh Steakhouse at Harrah’s. Octavio joined John as a partner in The Besh Restaurant Group, combining his vast experience in restaurant operations with a passion for customer service. Since then, the Besh Restaurant Group has expanded to include restaurants such as August, Borgne, La Provence, Domenica, Lüke, Lüke San Antonio, Pizza Domenica, Johnny Sánchez Baltimore, Johnny Sánchez New Orleans, Shaya, Willa Jean, and a private event venue, Pigeon & Prince.
In March 2016, the Besh Restaurant Group announced the creation of Our House Hospitality, a hotel food and beverage operations management division. Our House Hospitality is responsible for the revitalization of the historic Pontchartrain Hotel which houses four food & beverage outlets including Silver Whistle Cafe, Hot Tin, Bayou Bar, and the Caribbean Room. OHH is partnering with Commune Hotels & Resorts to develop three culinary concepts within Thompson Nashville, which is slated to open in Fall 2016.