He is a nationally known chef who operates “Restaurant August” and other eateries in New Orleans. John Besh’s recipe for success has been to have joined the Marine Corps right out of high school. He says the Corps imbued him with leadership principles and skills that he still uses today.
From an early age, I knew I wanted to become a U.S. Marine—and a famous chef. I knew from the start that I didn’t want to make the military a career, but I was too adventurous to settle down to what I thought might be the quiet life of a chef. I had an overwhelming desire to challenge myself, and I wanted to do something demanding. So I joined the Marine Corps.
Little did I know how much being a Marine would help make me a better chef. No, I never served as a mess cook, but the Corps taught me values and leadership principles that have stayed with me throughout my civilian career, and that I still use every day to train my restaurant staffs and manage my business.