Tag Archives: LudoBites

PHOTOS: Chef Ludo’s Confit Pork Belly

Last week I made Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s Confit Pork Belly, in celebration of his new cooking show, The Taste (on ABC).

Prepping and cooking the pork was almost a three-day process, but SO worth the time and effort.

Best of all? I got to share it with Ludo, his wife Krissy and a small group of friends, who gathered at the Lefebvre’s home for the premiere. If you haven’t seen The Taste yet, you can view it online here.

Buying Pork Belly at Lindy & Grundy
I purchased the pork belly at Lindy & Grundy. Erte was kind enough to score the skin for me!

Pork Belly Brining
The first step is to make a brine and refrigerate for 24 hours. Chef Ludo’s recipe is on page 228 of his book, LudoBites.

Pork Belly Confit
Remove the pork from the brine, then confit in lard in the oven on a low temperature. The lard was also purchased from Lindy & Grundy.

Cold-pressing the pork belly
After it’s cooked low and slow, the belly must be cold-pressed in the refrigerator overnight. I used two glass casserole pans and foil-covered bricks to compress the pork.

Pork Belly almost finished
After cold-pressing the pork belly, gently cut pieces, transfer to a new pan and cook until golden brown and heated through.

Pork Belly w Glaze!
Make the Glaze
Ingredients:
1/3 cup of honey
1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
1/3 cup of reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 teaspoons water

Instructions:
Combine the honey, vinegar, soy sauce and five-spice powder in a heavy small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Whisk the cornstarch mixture, then whisk into the glaze to blend and return the glaze to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside. Cover to keep warm.

Ludo seasoning my pork belly!
I finished the pork belly at Ludo’s home and was thrilled that he (and all the guests) enjoyed it!

PorkBelly11Pork Belly w Glaze!
My Pork Belly Confit finished.

LudoBites Cookbook
The recipe is from LudoBites, available on Amazon or iTunes. I’ve cooked several recipes from the book, and have loved every bite!

Follow Ludo on Twitter

All about The Taste on FaceBook

Follow The Taste on Twitter

Go #TeamLudo!

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Chef Ludo’s New Show!

What a lineup! Ludo stars along with two of my long-time culinary heroes… BOURDAIN and NIGELLA!

TheTasteLudoBourdainNigella

Four culinary masters get down to what really matters, The Taste! Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre & Brian Malarkey will each coach a team of 4 cooks, consisting of professional chefs and home cooks whom they will hand pick based on a blind taste challenge. Throughout the season, their mentors will prepare them for challenges in creating dishes that will ultimately be judged by the superstar chefs in blind taste tests. One cook will be left standing to take home The Taste trophy along with a new Ford C-Max and $100,000! 

Premieres Tuesday, January 22 at 8|7c on ABC!

LudoBitches will be live-tweeting during each episode. Follow us at @LudoBitches!

The Taste on FaceBook

Follow The Taste on Twitter

Follow Ludo on Twitter

Follow Bourdain on Twitter

Follow Nigella on Twitter

Follow Brian on Twitter

TheTasteFBLudoBourdainNigella

 

Photos via The Taste

My photos with Ludo

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Filed under Little Bites

LudoBites the CookBook

“LudoBites: Recipes and Stories from the Pop-Up Restaurants of Ludo Lefebvre” will be released October 9, 2012. I tested some of the recipes this past week (photos below) and have so enjoyed reliving dishes from his pop-up dinners around Los Angeles.

From the online book description:

The cookbook chronicles of the visionary, charismatic chef Ludo Lefebvre and his cult hit pop-up restaurant, LudoBites, worshiped by critics and foodies alike.

Ludo Lefebvre is a culinary prodigy who worked at his first three-star Michelin restaurant at age fourteen. By twenty-five he was running his own kitchen in Los Angeles—winning accolades for serving the most imaginative, forward-thinking food the city had ever seen. In 2007, he traded fine dining—with its endless pomp and bottomless resources—for the freedom to cook outside the box, even if it meant sacrificing his skilled kitchen brigade and drafting an eight-year-old to clean green beans and separate eggs. (Amazon)

Note: Ludo (and his wife Krissy) are dear friends. But that doesn’t stop me from being a HUGE fan of Ludo’s cooking or LudoBites the cookbook! I’ll continue to try out recipes and share the photos on twitter.

A few recipes I’ve tried so far:

Ludo's Vietnamese Vinaigrette (pg 261)
Vietnamese Vinaigrette (page 261). I spooned it over pan-fried tilapia and rice.

Cooking from the LudoBites Cookbook
Brocamole (page 22). Broccoli instead of avocado. We ate it with pita chips.

Cooking from the LudoBites Cookbook
Époisses (my favorite stinky cheese) Risotto w Egg Yolk (page 340). Ludo made this for dinner a few days before I had the cookbook. I’m happy to say that mine tasted just as good! We used leftovers for baked risotto balls the next day.

LudoBites CookbookLudo’s upcoming (Oct 2012) appearances

Watch Ludo on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations: Burgundy (video recap). You get to see his charming side and meet his grandma!

Ludo Bites America on the Sundance Channel (available on iTunes)

Order the book on Amazon

Follow Ludo on Twitter

My photos of Ludo

Just his food!

Cooking from LudoBites

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Cheeky Coq!

LudoBites 5.0

LudoBites, MyLastBite.comLast July (09), after enjoying yet another fantastic meal at Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s pop-up restaurant, I wrote: “To me, chefs ARE ROCK STARS, and the restaurants (at least the ones with open kitchens) are my favorite type of THEATER.”

A year later, after dinner at the latest LudoBites arena, with it’s open kitchen, sold out “venue” and lovestruck groupies (including myself), it’s clear to me that Ludo is still the greatest rock star chef EVER.

If you’ve only experienced chef Ludo on Bravo TV’s Top Chef Masters, then you probably think he’s just another cocky, French chef with a bad attitude. Let me note, that on occasion, I’ve had a front-row ticket to his “immense annoyance” (he’s a perfectionist) and it was a bit frightening. But luckily for me, since we’re also good friends outside of the restaurant world, I often get to see the sweet, charming and generous side of Ludo.

Ludo's Top Chef Master's Screening PartyTattoos are a MUST for any serious rock star (be it musician or cook), and Ludo’s inked flesh has been well-documented. We both share a love for Mötley Crüe, so my favorite design is definitely the Crüe album cover art on his forearm, but I definitely dig the LudoBites Coq tattoo he added a few months ago.

Grub Street asked about the new tattoo and Ludo said, “The rooster is the national emblem of France and he inspires me because the rooster wakes up every morning singing, even though he is standing in shit. It does not matter how tough things were the night before. I just have to wake and keep singing…and cooking.”

Ludo’s food is so creative (and amazing) that I actually think he deserves to be a bit cocky about it… and maybe even a bit cheeky. Sort of makes me think he deserves a fan club or something…

LudoBites 5.0
Grilled Squid, Heirloom Tomato Salad, Black Rice, Yuzu Red Onions, Umami Broth & Seaweed Tartare

LudoBites 5.0
Vadouvan Naan Bread, Salted Coconut Butter

LudoBites 5.0
Cheese Cupcake, Chicken Liver Mousse, Kumquats, Cornichon

LudoBites 5.0
Raw Wagyu Beef, Dried Miso, Somen Noodle, Peanut Vinaigrette, Candied Watermelon, Mint

LudoBites 5.0
Goat Cheese Soup, Bacon, Lardo, Tofu, Green Apple, Frisee Salad

LudoBites 5.0
Poached Egg, Potato Mousseline, Chorizo Condiment by Chef Ludo Lefebvre

LudoBites 5.0
Top: Grilled Octopus, Oregano, Grilled Hazelnut Polenta, Pineapple Aioli, Piment D’Espelette Gelee
Bottom: Hot Foie Gras, Chinese Barbeque Sauce, Miso Eggplant Terrine

LudoBites 5.0
Wild Striped Bass, Cauliflower, Black Garlic, Yellow Panna Cotta

LudoBites 5.0
Confit Pork Belly, Raw Choucroute Thai Style, Mustard Sorbet

LudoBites 5.0
Steamed Duck, Lemon Verbena, Crispy Skin Puree, White Peach, Radish, Balsamic

LudoBites 5.0
Cheese Plate of:
Goat Gouda with Pear Kimchi Chutney.
Epoisse with Whole Grain Mustard, Honey comb.
Bleu de Causses with Apricots-Lavender.

Bottom: Caramel Souffle, Blanco Grapefruit, Fleur de sel Ice Cream

LudoBites 5.0
Campfire Smoked S’mores, Guacamole Sorbet

LudoBites 5.0
Gram & Papas
227 East 9th Street
Los Angeles 90015
(213) 624-7272

http://LudoBites.com

7/28/10
Dinner shared with @JulieWolfson@LadyShark66@WithLoveSirine Peter & Melissa.

Gram & Papas website

Chefs Are Rock Stars 7/13/09

Grub Street L.A.

Ludo Bitches

Eater LA

Top Chef Masters

With Ludo

All my Ludo photos on Flickr

Follow @ChefLudo on twitter

Follow @FrenchChefWife on twitter

Follow @LudoBitches on twitter

Follow @GramAndPapas on twitter

RAVE review of LudoBites by New York Times Sam Sifton!

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LudoBites Forever

I tend to fall a little bit in love with my favorite chefs, and subsequently fall a whole LOT in love with their food.

Ludo @RoyalTCafe 1, MyLastBiteLike meeting a favorite actor or musician, I almost regress into my 13-year old obsessive self. If I could get away with covering my bedroom walls (and ceiling) with giant posters and framed Tiger Beat-ish (Food & Wine) glossies, I would. My husband Peter has nixed that idea of course, so I pin up snapshots around my kitchen pantry instead.

As a teenager I dreamt of being David Bowie’s “China Girl” and even threw birthday parties in his honor every year, hoping the thin white duke would be my “Modern Love” someday. I still have EVERY Bowie album (on vinyl) from my youth, tucked away on shelf in the closet. By the way, Happy Birthday David. I’ll be thinking of you on January 7th.

LudoBites 12/20/09Peter and I recently took my family to LudoBites @RoyalT Cafe for a pre-Christmas holiday dinner. This most recent pop-up event (aka “3.0”) was for thirteen days only, a very limited engagement that made it feel like LudoBites was a rock band on tour.

I attended five LudoBites evenings in December, and shared incredible meals with fellow food lovers and friends including Bob, Andrew, Lisa, Dave, Katrina, Phil, Julian and of course, Peter.

LudoBites 12/15/09The night I brought my good friend Jazz (Jitlada Thai Restaurant owner) was quite a treat. Mostly because she never actually takes time off to “eat out” during business hours. As she walked into the dining room, I saw heads turn to greet her. One person wrote on Twitter the next day, that seeing Jazz was like “spotting the queen” in the house. So true!

Family night was extra special of course, and everyone was blown away by the food and also the shopping! RoyalT Cafe houses a dangerous Hello Kitty collection, and I’m embarrassed to admit how much I spent during several visits. Let’s just say, that Peter won’t be buying me any valentines or birthday presents in 2010!

LudoBites 12/20/09Dining out with my niece and nephews is always fun, but I especially got a kick out of watching the twins (Chace and Kindal, 13) react to Ludo as though he were a bona fide rock star. The whole family is enamored with both Ludo and Krissy (his beautiful wife and brilliant business partner). They all first met at one of our garden parties over the summer, and my 20-year old nephew Cody had been with us to LudoBites 2.0 @BreadBar in July.

LudoBites Catering Event 9/17/09My own love affair with LudoBites started with the Foie Gras Croque Monsieur (also during 2.0). This masterpiece starts with terrine of duck foie gras, ham and cheese grilled between two pieces of pain de mie (bread) with black squid ink, and a cherry-amaretto compote on the side. It was the first thing we ordered (if it was on the menu) during seven stellar evenings on the summer tour.

Ludo @RoyalTCafe 1, MyLastBiteWhen LudoBites 3.0 was announced, Ludo stated that he would NOT repeat any previous dishes, including the beloved croque. That was a shot to my heart (and belly), and felt like when Bowie announced that he would never again sing “Changes” live in concert. Absolute heart ache.

Recently, Krissy hinted (via Twitter) that the next LudoBites (4.0) may include “Greatest Hits”, so I’m hopeful that chef Ludo reissues the classic croque.

Twins, Ludo Fans!Weeks before our family LudoBites dinner, the twins were both on FaceBook posting how excited they were to finally eat at LudoBites. None of their friends knew who Ludo was, but they were quickly educated on the awesomeness of Ludovic Lefebvre. If he and Krissy ever decide to do a pop-up restaurant in Glendora or San Dimas, they’ll have plenty of junior high school kids waiting in line!

LudoBites 12/20/09Ludo changes his menu daily, so you never know what to expect. I was absolutely thrilled to see his (now legendary) Ludo’s Fried Chicken (aka LFC) available for our family night. Imagine a large, boneless chicken nugget, extremely juicy (not greasy), seasoned perfectly, way better than KFC!

I promptly ordered LFC for each of us (eight plates total), and we spent the next few hours sharing and tasting the entire menu. At the end of the night, Ludo came out to say hello (not just to our table), and I watched my niece’s face almost explode with joy. I knew that familiar look… a shy smile, rosy cheeks and an inability to stay still in her seat. Of course, Kindal was crushing on Ludo! Don’t we all?

LudoBites 12/20/09Then it struck me… Ludo is HER Bowie. I thought about how I would’ve reacted if I met my crush at thirteen. Mostly likely, I would have screamed and probably hidden. But Kindal is so much more confident than I was back in 1977 (her brother Chace is too). She even brought chef Ludo a plate of her home made “Kindal’s Christmas Krackle”. That would be akin to me writing a song, recording it onto a cassette and mailing it to Ziggy Stardust himself.

There have been plenty of other chef crushes in 2009. Just take a look at my “Chef Photos” for evidence. But I have to say, the pure enjoyment of LudoBites has been my biggest crush of all. I wish there was some sort of foodie yearbook that I could sign… “Have a Gr8 New Year Ludo and Krissy. U guys r the coolest. LudoBites 4Ever!”

Just a FEW of my favorite dishes from LudoBites @RoyalT Cafe:

LFC Ludo's Fried Chicken
Ludo’s Famous Fried Chicken, Cantal Polenta, Baby Corn, Mole Sauce 

LudoBites 12/15/09
Tuna Sashimi, Sushi Rice Ice Cream, Soy Sauce Gelee, Smoked Ginger Oil

Ludo @RoyalTCafe 1, MyLastBite
Marinated Hanger Steak, Crunchy Escargot, Baby Corn, Bok Choy & Black Olive Mole

LudoBites @ RoyalT Cafe 3, MyLastBite
Crispy Confit Pork Belly, Burnt Eggplant Puree, Plantain, Coconutt, Thai Chili Emulsion

LudoBites 12/15/09
Striped Bass Teriyaki, Mashed Potatoes, Picked Garlic, Lemon-Miso

LudoBites 12/15/09
Foie Gras Beignet, Saffron-Dried Apricots

Ludo @RoyalTCafe 1, MyLastBite
Fourme d’ Ambert Tourte, Red Pears, Honey-Balsamic

LudoBites @ RoyalT Cafe 2, MyLastBite
Chocolate Mousse (SPICY!!) , Lichis, and Sesame Paste

Many, many more LudoBites friends & food photos on Flickr!

Ludo @RoyalTCafe 1, MyLastBiteLudoBites Website

RoyalTCafe Website

Dates: (LudoBites 3.0)12/2, 12/10, 12/15, 12/20, 12/22

Kindal’s Christmas Krackle

LudoBites 2.0 @BreadBar

Check out this awesome LudoBites piece by MyLifeAsAFoodie

Jitlada Thai Restaurant

David Bowie

Chef Photos

ALL my Ludo photos on Flickr

Ludo Video

Happy New Year Everyone!! Here’s to more fun and tasty bites in 2010!!

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Filed under Eating Out, Food Events (festivals, classes, etc.), Hot Chefs

Au Revoir LudoBites

Tomorrow (Sat. 8/22) is the final dinner service for Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s LudoBites, so I wanted to share some of the tasty food photos from recent visits. Six mind-blowing dinners in all (so far), with some of the most delicious plates of art I’ve ever devoured!

LudoBites Visit 3, MyLastBite.comThe official LudoBites website states: “LudoBites is a guerilla style pop-up restaurant event created by Chef Ludo Lefebvre. The goal of LudoBites is to create a revolutionary new ‘bistronomy’ cuisine that features Michelin style French tradition combined with modern technique and offered at reasonable prices”.

What the above paragraph doesn’t note is that, besides the great food and “rave” party atsmosphere, Chef Ludo is actually in the kitchen COOKING YOUR FOOD personally for you (unlike so many of his peers). And he still makes time to come out and chat with his customers, even if it’s just for a few minutes. His wife Krissy runs the front of the house, and together they make an evening at LudoBites more than just another night out in Los Angeles… they make it a truly original (and fun) dining experience. If my waistline and budget could afford it, I would have eaten there every night this summer!

LudoBites 5, MyLastBite.comMy first visit to LudoBites was on July 8th. For that first blog post I wrote: “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.”

Summer is almost over, and tomorrow night (8/22/09) is my seventh (and the final) dinner at the popular hotspot. After Ludo and Krissy take a much-needed vacation, they promise to be back soon with either a permanent space, or another round of a pop-up dinners. I’m thinking I may go into some sort of “Ludo Withdrawal” in the next few weeks, but at least I have one more night for My Last Bite!

All my LudoBites Photos on Flickr

http://www.LudoLefebvre.com (great video)

Follow Ludo on Twitter, so you’re “in the know”

http://www.KristineLefebvre.com

Chef Ludo on Top Chef Masters

Full Posts: Visit #1 Visit #2

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LudoBites [2]

Last Tuesday evening was NOT just another busy night for LudoBites Chef Ludovic Lefebvre. A few hours before service, he tweeted (via Twitter) that one of his crew had called in sick:

“Here we go again. Tuesday -packed house & cook already called in sick. Can I have 1 day of normal please? Hopefully no 1 gets arrested 2day.” @ChefLudo 9:55 AM Jul 14th

Not only was the LudoBites reservation book filled, but July 14th also happened to be Bastille Day, the French National Holiday, and I was looking forward to a fun dinner at LudoBites! But who could blame this VERY French chef, if he simply wasn’t in the mood for celebration?

At 8pm, Peter and I met up with friends Dean & Steph, and carrying a few extra bottles of wine (it’s byob at LudoBites), we settled into our table. I figured that since we couldn’t actually help Chef Ludo cook on the line, the least we could do was bring some wine to share with any impatient customers. After we handed over the bottles to our waiter, we went about ordering dishes from the menu.

I have to admit, I was worried at first. This was only my second meal at LudoBites, but I wondered how Chef Ludo would deal with the loss of a cook on such a busy night. Would the taste of his food be compromised? Would table service be slow? Would Ludo be stuck in the kitchen with no appearance for his beloved fans?

Of course not. It’s Ludo for goodness sakes! He (and his crew including Krissy, his lovely wife), kicked into high gear and provided us with another flawless, and of course deliciously memorable dinner. 

What we ate:

LudoBites Visit #2, MyLastBite.com
Seared Duck Breast, Crispy Skin-Peanut, Mandarin Kumquats, Coulis Carrot Cake, Bok Choy $24

LudoBites Visit #2, MyLastBite.com
Monkfish, Coconut Milk, Artichoke, Fresh Almonds, Clementine $18

LudoBites Visit #2, MyLastBite.com
Lobster Medallions, Honey-Sherry Vinaigrette, Rosemary $18

LudoBites Visit #2, MyLastBite.com
Top Left: The (legendary) Lavender Honey Butter (aka frosting butter).
Top Right: Foie Gras Terrine Black Croque-Monsieur, Maple Syrup and Ham $20
Bottom Right: Grilled Santa Barbara Prawns, Gremolata, Avocado, Chantilly $24
Bottom Left: Grilled Hanger Steak, Beer Emulsion, Black Sesame Miso, Potato Chips, Charcoal Oil $24

LudoBites Visit #2, MyLastBite.com
Top: Heirloom Tomato Salad, Red Onions, Feta Mousse, Oregano $14
Bottom: Poached Egg 65 Degrees, Morels, Smoked Mornay Sauce, Toast $11

LudoBites Visit #2, MyLastBite.com
Back in the kitchen: Chef Ludo’s Mise En Place at LudoBites (so fun hanging out in the kitchen!)

LudoBites at Breadbar
thru August 22, 2009
8718 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310 205 0124
Dining Date: 7/14/09
Joined by Dean & Steph 

< LudoBites Visit #1 (with more details & photos of the chef)

About Chef Ludo

Check out his gorgeous book, “Crave”

More about LudoBites

Chef Ludo on Twitter

About Twitter

More about Bastille Day

Ludo Bites (@ Breadbar) on Urbanspoon

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