Like many chefs, Ludo Lefebvre’s passion for the culinary arts began when he was a child. However, not many chefs had fathers who brought them to restaurants at the age of 13 so they could learn the craft of cooking, and even fewer still began their formal culinary training at the age of 14 under a famous chef. Ludo Lefebvre is the exception.
The recipient of Mobil Travel Guide’s Five Star Award at L’Orangerie and Bastide, Ludo has experienced success from the early days of his career. In 2001, Ludo earned the “Rising Chef Award” from the James Beard Foundation, and Relais & Châteaux named him one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Chefs”; additionally, his restaurant Petit Trois was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation award for “Best New Restaurant.” With all these accolades, Ludo’s inclusion on this list is a no-brainer.
And while his cooking does most of the talking for him, Ludo has also made appearances on “Iron Chef America” and seasons 1 and 2 of “Top Chef Masters.” In 2013, Ludo served as a judge on Anthony Bourdain’s “The Taste” alongside Bourdain and Nigella Lawson, and his appearances have ticked upwards since then; if you’re a fan of food and TV, odds are you’ve seen Ludo on your screen before.
Specialties & Resources
Along with Daniel Boulud, Ludo’s dishes are heavily inspired by traditional French cuisine, which is no surprise given given his French background. While his early experiences in his formative years still shine through appearances in his dishes today, Ludo has also created a distinct name for himself with his LudoBites pop-up menus. And at his restaurant Trois Familia, Ludo continues to break barriers. Items such as the churro French toast, with salt & straw vanilla ice cream and Mexican chocolate, beet tartare tostada with cornichon, lime and avocado crema, the Galette crepe with egg, chorizo and jack cheese demonstrate his range beyond traditional French fare.
Ludo’s cooking style can best be described as diverse with a well-demonstrated appreciation for tradition and history. No chef survives long without displaying a willingness to adapt their cooking style to incorporate other styles, and Ludo’s dedication to honing his craft and expanding his range has served him well in his pursuits. While Ludo may be better-known for his pop-up experiences and his television appearances these days, his skill as a chef is nearly unmatched, and his is a name we’ll be sure to hear for years to come.