the Cocktail issue

at Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi. “Dad laid down the law. It was get a job and pay for college yourself or come home to New Orleans. I got a job dishwashing at Proud Larry’s. I worked there until I graduated.” After culinary school in New York City and restaurant stints in New Orleans, Landrem got the chance to stage at Restaurant August with then chef de cuisine Michael Gulotta.The interview led to a job and fast friendship with John Besh. “I worked on John’s TV show My Family Table . We shot two episodes a day for two weeks at his house in Slidell. I did all the prep work. I would get up at 6am, drive to Rouses in Slidell, shoot half a day, then go back to Rouses. Some days I’d have to hit multiple Rouses because we were using so much stuff.” When filming wrapped, Landrem became Besh’s sous chef. “If John traveled, I went. If John did TV, I went.” Landrem still travels with Besh. “Now I go with Aarón, too.” Besh, Landrem and chef Aarón Sánchez are partners at Johnny Sánchez in downtown New Orleans where Landrem is chef de cuisine. The three have more in common than food. Instead of boarding school, Sánchez’s restaurateur mother shipped her 16-year-old son to New Orleans to live and train with chef Paul Prudhomme. “It changed my life,” he says. The idea for Johnny Sánchez came about at Besh’s camp in North Alabama. “I’d only met Aarón once before in Miami, but he and John were friends. We all ended up at John’s hunting camp together. We shot a pig, then made tacos using all of these great ingredients that Aarón brought with him. Suddenly we were talking restaurant.” Landrem spent a month in Mexico before they opened the restaurant. “I staged at Pujol in Mexico City, one of the top restaurants in the world. I went back of the house at several other restaurants. I wanted to see the masa actually being made. Aarón knew a young sous chef who acted as his guide in Guadalajara. “Rodgrigo took me everywhere. We ate and drank everything.” Guadalajara is about 30 minutes south of Jalisco, which is where most of the world’s tequila is made.Tequila is bottled at various stages. The longer it’s aged the darker it gets. Blanco is bottled immediately. Golden reposada  is oak aged for a minimum of two

Tequila vs Mezcal Miles Landrem Calls the Shots at Johnny Sánchez by Tim Acosta, Rouses Marketing Director + photos by Romney Caruso

C hef John Besh likes to point out that he and protégé Miles Landrem are both graduates of St. Stanislaus, a day and boarding school in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, known for it’s tough love approach. “I absolutely loved Stanislaus,” says Landrem. “But you knew if you got into trouble it was next stop reform school.”

Landrem started his restaurant career as a dishwasher at Taco Tico on Veterans Highway in Metairie. “Taco Tico was a rite of passage in my family. My dad and two brothers also did time there when they were in high school.” His dishwashing skills would come in handy after a lousy report card his sophomore year of college



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