In a surprising move, John Besh has sold La Provence restaurant, reports Todd Price of NOLA.com. The sale to new owners, Eric Hunter and Jennifer Pittman, closed on May 2 and terms were not disclosed. The couple is already living on the property and has been working with Chef Erick Loos IV for the last eight months to ensure a smooth transition. The couple plans to preserve the restaurant, which they describe as an “institution.”
The country French destination on the North Shore, which was recently added to Eater’s 38 Essential New Orleans Restaurants, was where Besh worked from 1994 to 1997 under chef and owner Chris Kerageorgiou. Besh’s departure from the restaurant was unexpected, given he bought the restaurant from the man he called a “mentor” in 2007 and Kerageorgiou died the same year.
The new owners previously owned Fire Oak Grill in Fort Worth, Texas. Eric Hunter spent time on the North Shore while growing up, moving to Mandeville with his family in 1984 and attending middle school and high school there. La Provence opened in 1972.