LudoBites – Chefs Are Rock Stars

My first hard-core rock star crush happened when I was twelve years old. All I wanted was Peter Frampton to “Show Me the Way”. To what or where I wanted him to lead me I wasn’t sure, but I was certain I wanted it. Not only did I sleep with the “Frampton Comes Alive” album cover every night, but I obsessed about him so much that I wanted to LOOK like him.

Chefs are like Rock Stars, MyLastBite.comOn a weekend visit to my grandparents house in San Marino, I succeeded in talking my grandmother into letting me get a perm. Unfortunately she took me to a local beauty school in Pasadena, and the outcome was not even close to the tousled, carefree ringlets on the glossy photo I kissed goodnight. I was a half Japanese, half Scottish girl with an AFRO. It wasn’t pretty. Enough said.

I still have that “Frampton Comes Alive” double album (from 1976). As a matter of fact I still have ALL my favorite albums from my childhood, which is pretty amazing considering the fact that I moved no less than eighteen times before settling in my current home, here in Studio City. Some of the moves were global: Okinawa to California (when my parents divorced), Maryland to the Virgin Islands (during my first marriage to an airline pilot), but most of the moves were throughout California, and it really is a miracle that my delicate record collection survived at all.

Chefs are like Rock Stars, MyLastBite.comEven the two albums I brought from Okinawa (in 1972) are still intact, although they’re now so shabby I finally placed them in protective plastic sleeves. “Peter Pan” and the soundtrack from the film “Oliver!” always take me back to our home in Takahara Heights. I can listen to them on my iPod of course, but there’s nothing better than popping open my battery-operated Japanese record player and spinning vinyl with a cocktail or two.

Looking through my old records over the weekend, I had to laugh at some of my “favorites” way back when. Some of the more embarrassing 33’s I’ve held on to are albums by Leif Garret, Shaun Cassidy, Andy Gibb and the “love of my life” at fifteen, General Hospital’s own Dr. Noah Drake, aka Rick Springfield. Two of my multiple vinyl collections that I’m MOST proud to have, are Elton John and David Bowie.

As I entered high school, like most of my girlfriends, I crushed on Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth and Sting. A few of the bands I still listen to on a regular basis are the Pretenders (Chrissie still rocks), X, Motley Crue, Poison and of course, “classics” like the Stones, the Clash, and the Runaways.

On stage at the Whisky-a-GoGo, MyLastBite.comI was eighteen when David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” was released, and drove my big sister crazy playing “Modern Love” every morning for an entire year. Not only did I listen to the music, but I also grew up playing piano and writing my own songs. This passion for music is now shared with my husband Peter, who I thank on a daily basis for teaching me how to play guitar, and with my niece and nephews. For my 40th birthday, Peter even rented out the world-famous Whisky-a-GoGo so I could have a “rock star” fantasy party. It was amazing.

Growing up, there wasn’t anything more exciting than watching my favorite musicians on stage, but these days I get that same happy rush when I spend time with some of my favorite chefs. I get a little star-struck even, whether it’s watching Vinny & Jon at Animal, chefs Voltaggio* and Vigneron in the open Rojo kitchen at Bazaar, or even strolling from chef to chef at the recent Taste of the Nation event. Call me a “super chef fan” or a groupie even… I don’t care because I’m having so much fun!

To me, chefs ARE ROCK STARS, and the restaurants (at least the ones with open kitchens) are my favorite type of THEATER. The food they create is ART, and I’m just one of the the lucky fans who get to devour each tasty NOTE.

LudoBites, MyLastBite.comOn July 8th, I had the pleasure of attending what I am calling, the BEST DAMN GIG in town. LudoBites (at Breadbar on Third) starring the immensely talented, (and super hot) ROCK STAR Chef Ludovic Lefebvre.

LudoBites is described as “a guerrilla style pop-up restaurant event… that teams up with restaurants that only have breakfast and lunch service… LudoBites will move to a new space every few months, similar to an artist exhibition”.

My friend Charles made the 7:30 reservation for the four us: myself, husband Peter, Charles and his partner Robert. When my friend Bob saw me tweeting about my dinner plans that evening, he called and asked if he and his boyfriend Andrew could join us for what Peter called, the “Food Rave”.

LudoBites, MyLastBite.comThe six of us were giddy after we were seated at the table closest to where Chef Ludo would be working. The setting was surprisingly intimate, and right off the bat, Krissy, Chef Ludo’s beautiful wife made us feel comfortable and welcome. Come to think of it, rock stars always have gorgeous model wives don’t they?

Throughout the evening we went about ordering almost everything on the menu. I THOUGHT we had tasted every main dish, but in fact we missed one (the duck) which I’ll have to order on my next visit. I tried to pick out my favorite bite of the evening, but I couldn’t. Even the lavender honey butter was phenomenal!

Like a well-crafted piece of music, everything Chef Ludo prepared simply ROCKED MY WORLD. Hopefully I’ll be able to score a few more “front row seats” at LudoBites before the tour ends in August.

What we ate:

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Shrimps, Sweet and Sour Emulsion, Rosemary $10

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
White Asparagus Veloute, Mozzarella Ice Cream, Shaved Fennel, Dried Black Olives $14

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Grilled Hangar Steak “Kobe Style”, Black Sesame Miso, Potato Chips, Shallots and Charcoal Oil $24

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Sauteed Diver Scallop, Red Port-Creme Fraiche, Candied Bacon, Potato by $14

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Seared Foie Gras with Corn, Passion Fruits by $22

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Creamy Polenta, Cantal Cheese, Oxtail Beef, Black Truffle $14

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Lacquered Pork Belly, Mustard Ice Cream, Napa Cabbage, Imaginary Choucroute $18

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Heirloom Tomato Salad, Red Onions, Feta Mousse, Oregano $14

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Chilled Chorizo, Cantaloup, Cornichon Soup $11. Foie Gras Tart, Maple Syrup, Lemon Paste, Hazelnut Oil $18

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
SORRY this is so blurry! Poached Egg 65 Degrees, Caramelized Savory French Toast, Smokey Mornay Sauce. $9. Bottom: Kumamoto Oyster, Chablis Wine, Iceberg Lettuce, Borage Flower $12

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Chocolate Mousse, Ganache, Chantilly $10

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Cheese Course, $35
Photo missing: Halibut, Spiced Butter, Fresh Porcini, Fresh Almonds, Tonnato Style, $22

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Chef Ludo, his tats and one of his cool art pieces

All my LudoBites Photos on Flickr

LudoBites at Breadbar
thru August 22, 2009
8718 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310 205 0124
Dining Date: 7/8/09

About Chef Ludo

Check out his gorgeous book, “Crave”

More about LudoBites

About Kristine (“Krissy”) Lefebvre

Mentioned above:

Peter Frampton Video “Show Me The Way”

Charles (website)

Bob (website)

Peter (his band)

Playing guitar with the twins

Animal Restaurant

The Bazaar by Jose Andres

Taste of the Nation

Chef Marcel Vigneron

Okinawa

Whisky-a-GoGo

*Chef Michael Voltaggio (formerly at the Bazaar) is now working at The Dining Room, Langham Hunginton Hotel

Dr. Noah Drake / Rick Springfield

With a few of my favorite Chef Rock Stars

Ludo Bites (@ Breadbar) on Urbanspoon

More LudoBites Visit @BreadBar >

Photos from ALL LudoBites @BreadBar

LudoBites @RoyalT Cafe

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27 Comments

Filed under Eating Out, Food Stories (written by me)

27 responses to “LudoBites – Chefs Are Rock Stars

  1. Clara

    OMG. I need to try this. It looks AMAZING. I wanna go!

  2. One of my favorite posts ever, from one of my favorite people ever about one of my favorite meals ever. xoxo

  3. I WAS THERE! He is HOT! Krissy is HOT! The food was AMAZING! The company was AMAZING! Chefs ARE Rock Stars! Thanks for helping me relive it. YOU are a Rock Star! (Love this post!)

  4. Totally a rock star! Looks amazing!

  5. Nice. But I thought that “bloggers are the new rockstars.” ;)

  6. Imagine my surprise when Ludo turns out to be “the French guy from Top Chef Masters.” He was just on there a couple of episodes ago – you have some timing.

    I love this idea of hopping from one space to another, creating new dishes as he goes along. It shows true talent, and a command of his craft . . . . excuse me — art. These dishes are really impressive. They’ve got a similar style, and they look so delicious.

    Lacquered pork belly, fois gras, oxtail, Kumamoto Oyster . . . hell, where do I sign up for this?

    And for the “record,” Frampton Comes Alive was one of my favorite albums when I was young. I would stand in front of the mirror in my bedroom, headphones on, whiffle bat in hand, and air guitar my way through every track of all 4 sides of that masterpiece. You should be credited for still owning the vinyl.

  7. Wish I had tried the white asparagus veloute while it was still available! :) Great write-up.

  8. Janet Cubak

    Oh Jo…love this!
    Not only did you introduce us “Chefs are Rock Stars” but you brought back so many memories of growing up in your world! I’ll never forget getting up EVERY morning to “Modern Love” !
    Love you and I’m so very proud of my little sister!

  9. I’ve heard about Ludo Bites. Seeing all that delicious food makes me want to go there even more.

    btw…I prefer vinyl, too. There’s just something organic about the sound of them.

  10. Love you more!
    This is a fabulous post…. oh yeah and I get to live this life with you.
    …yes we listened to Bowie on her portable turntable and then we played guitars ’til our fingers couldn’t take it anymore.

    (pinch me.)
    xoxo

  11. great post Jo! I just posted my review too, sans photos. Hopefully the lack of photos won’t diminish readership.

  12. Um, OMG, I want to go… maybe now?
    Except that I insanely joined Caroline on Crack in her quest to go a week w/o dairy… so after that. :D

    Loved the post. My closest brush to a “rock star” was to Sir Mix-A-Lot. Yes, I said Sir Mix-A-Lot. Buttermilk Biscuits, Baby Got Back…I saw the world premiere of that video. And then went and partied with him and his posse. Insane.

  13. Every thing about this post is incredible! Love it!

  14. A great big THANKS for all the nice comments! I haven’t been this excited about eating out since the Bazaar opened!

  15. OMG, I am so jealous! Chef Ludo even looks like a rockstar! Jo, can I just live with you and go everywhere with you?

  16. Hey Jo. That was a beautiful post! I’m glad you enjoyed the food. I think I’m addicted.

  17. Seriously,

    great blog, your details increased my lust for food. your journey through food allows heightens my senses

    my favorite

    Shrimps, Sweet and Sour Emulsion

    keep posting,

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