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The American Sector, A Chef John Besh Restaurant

Located on the campus of The National World War II Museum in New Orleans, restaurant features cuisine inspired by life on the Home Front

NEW ORLEANS (May 7, 2009)  –  Chef John Besh has long been an advocate for preserving the culinary traditions of Louisiana, but his newest endeavor, The American Sector, honors a different tradition. The restaurant will be located on the newly expanded campus of The National World War II Museum and will be a tribute to life on the Home Front.

Besh, a veteran of the Gulf War, was drawn to the project partly because of his own military background. “I have such a deep appreciation for the sacrifice of our fighting men and women and what they accomplished in the battle for our freedom,” he said. “To be affiliated with the country’s official National World War II Museum is a great honor for me.”

The American Sector will be a departure from his other venues like Restaurant August, Besh Steak, Lüke and La Provence. The inspiration is casual American food with some gourmet twists. The menu is designed to serve the business lunch crowd as well as Museum visitors. Diners will also have the opportunity to enjoy live entertainment in the Stage Door Canteen, featuring a signature show designed by the Museum as well as performances by some of New Orleans best musicians.

The name may sound military, but it has local roots. “I was looking to open a casual, American-style restaurant in this area,” Chef Besh says. “This neighborhood was historically known as the ‘American Sector’ in New Orleans.”

Chef Besh’s culinary talent, military background and Louisiana roots made him a natural partner for The National World War II Museum. “We could not be luckier to be working with a chef of John Besh’s caliber. But his commitment to our mission was an added bonus,” said Museum President and CEO, Dr. Nick Mueller. The American Sector will also cater public and private events held at the Museum.

His talent and drive have earned Chef Besh critical kudos from the outset of his career:  in 1999, Food & Wine named him one of the “Top 10 Best New Chefs in America.”  In 2003, Gourmet magazine included August in its “Guide to America’s Best Restaurants,” and in 2006 and 2007, it cited August as one of America’s Top 50 Restaurants.  Chef Besh received a nomination for a James Beard Award, and then in 2006, he won the Beard Award for Best Chef of the Southeast. Chef Besh was selected to compete in Food Network’s Next Iron Chef, succeeding in every challenge, and finishing as runner-up in Kitchen Stadium. Rounding out the year, he and jazz musician Wynton Marsalis were selected as portraits of creative visionaries whose passion for what they do has transformed our culture in the third season of the original series Iconoclasts on the Sundance Channel. 

The Museum will be opening three new attractions on November 6 as part of their overall expansion plans: The American Sector, The Victory Theater, featuring the star-studded 4-D cinematic experience, Beyond All Boundaries; and The Stage Door Canteen, an entertainment and dining venue that salutes the stars of the war years and the Home Front. The opening weekend red carpet extravaganza will be attended by Hollywood celebrities led by Tom Hanks and Tom Brokaw, many World War II military veterans and their families, active military and others.

The National World War II Museum tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today.  Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National World War II Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-527-6012 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org. Follow us on Twitter at WWIImuseum or visit our Facebook fan page.

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