Ludo LeFebvre is the French-born chef and creator of the pop-up restaurant LudoBites, the hottest spot in Los Angeles. (The rush to grab a spot has been to know to crash OpenTable's website!). His food dazzles the tongue, yes, but also the eye and the nose. Now you can recreate it at home with his forthcoming cookbook, LudoBites: Recipes and Stories From The Pop-Up Restaurants of Ludo Lefebvre. In anticipation of the new book, we got a peek at his home kitchen. Take the tour with us and tell us if you notice a motif!
Roosters of all shapes and sizes are clearly the LudoBites motif and mascot, and they populate the sunny home kitchen where Ludo draws on his memories of growing up in Burgundy to cook for his wife Krissy and their twins. The kitchen was ready to go when they moved in but, not unexpectedly, things are slowly changing to suit the needs of this busy and creative chef.
10 Questions for Ludo LeFebvre (and His Kitchen)
1. What inspires your kitchen and your cooking?
I get inspiraton for my cooking everywhere. When we bought our house the kitchen was pretty much the way it is now but there was one empty hallway that ran along the sides of the kitchen that just looked empty so we built bookshelves and cabinets and filled it with things that mean something to me. Of course there are a lot of books! Just looking at the books gives me inspiration. It can be like a trip around the world in one glance.
2. What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
A peeler. I cook a lot of vegetables for my kids so I use my peeler all the time.
3. What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
It would have to be the steamed carrots I made for our twins first "real food" meal. It was stressful and exciting all at once. I will always remember the looks on their faces when they took their first bites. Pure magic.
4. The biggest challenge in your kitchen:
The space is small so it can be difficult to cook large meals with lots of dishes because there is not a lot of space to put things. We recently added a small center butcher block piece from Bulthaup that gave me extra prep space and creates a great gathering place for frends and family to join me when I am cooking.
5. Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
6. Biggest indulgence or splurge in the kitchen
Because I did not "build" the kitchen, I will say no. I love the added bookshelves and cabinets as well as the new center butcher block piece. One day I will start from scratch but for right now, it is perfect for our family.
Definitely the Bulthaup
butcher block piece for the center of the kitchen. Love it!
7. Is there anything you hope to add or improve in your kitchen?
I would love to add a combi-oven one day and figure out how to get more refrigeration space. I would also like to open up the wall between the kitchen and the dining room to create one big "food" room.
8. How would you describe your cooking style?
Passionate. That about says it all. I can't really describe it as "a style." I am French-trained by the best chefs in the world but I have so many influences from around the world. It is always changing so maybe we can call it fluid too. Respect the past, live in the present, but look towards the future!
9. Best cooking advice or tip you ever received?
It is going to sound a little simple, but it was really when my mentor told me that it is most important to taste your food. Following a recipe is not always enough. You need to taste. I made a lot of mistakes as a young chef because I was not tasting my food. You have to taste everything. Memories are created by taste so don't mess it up.
10. What are you cooking this week?
This week has been simple. I made chicken and rice cooked "paella-style" for the whole family.
Ludo on Television
→ You can catch Ludo October 1 on No Reservations when he takes Anthony Bourdain to his home town of Burgundy and traces how he learned to cook.
→ Visit Chef Ludo LeFebvre's website
Ludo's Upcoming Book
→ LudoBites: Recipes and Stories from the Pop-Up Restaurants of Ludo Lefebvre, to be released on October 9 (watch for a book review and sample recipe then)
The kitchen is a hodge-podge of brands right now! We upgrade slowly when we can.
• We just got a new Thermador Double Convection Oven and the Bulthaup rolling stainless steel/butcher block top unit for the center of the kitchen, which provides some much needed prep space. The stove and frig came with the house and are Jenn-Air.
• Our dishware is Le Creuset, our flatware is Knork and the pots and pans are a combination of de Buyer, World Cuisine and Le Creuset. Our glassware is from a tiny village in the south of France, Biot, that is known for its glass blowing.
Thank you so much for letting us peek into your kitchen, Ludo!
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Related: Chef Brandon Boudet's Charming Cottage Kitchen
(Images: Max Wanger Photography. Some images originally appeared in Rue Magazine.)