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Champagne corks were popping this year as the acclaimed French-born chef Ludo Lefebvre celebrated his 20 year anniversary in LA with a series of special guest chef dinners at his award-winning Trois Mec restaurant.
Welcoming the likes of Daniel Boulud, Daniel Humm and James Lowe into his kitchen for a series of one off four hands dinners, a bespoke 6-course dinner was created over a series of evenings inspired by the guest chef country/style of cuisine creating the ultimate "dialogue between chefs, spoken through food."
In order to mark the occasion, FindDiningLovers also asked Ludo Lefebvre to describe the five most memorable dishes of his career to date and the defining stories behind them, from sharing a French omelette to perfecting fried chicken and the successful return of the once fateful foie gras pina colada.
Petit Trois Omelette
Ludo Lefebvre: "I grew up eating omelettes, mostly for dinner in France. When I moved to Los Angeles, I learned the difference between and American and a French omelette and also that Americans typically only eat omelettes for breakfast. I put a traditional French omelette on the menu at Petit Trois and it quickly became the most talked about dish and by far the most popular on the menu. It is funny when something so simple to one can became such a delicacy to another. I would say that the omelette at Petit Trois forever changed me and although I had been cooking French food in Los Angeles for almost 20 years at the time, that omelette legitimized me as a true French chef in America."
Foie Gras Pina Colada
Ludo Lefebvre: "This dish has a negative and positive history for me. It was the headline of the worst review I ever received in my life, which completely changed who I was a chef. I had to look deep inside, find my spirit and continue on. After this review I decided to no longer cook for critics, but for guests. I would do it my way. This led to LudoBites and eventually the return of the foie gras pina colada. This time around it received rave reviews not only from my guests but also from different food writer at the same newspaper."
LudoBird Original Fried Chicken
Ludo Lefebvre: "My love for fried chicken started the first time I tried the crispy bird at KFC. I had played with recipes, but never thought it would be come a dish that I was know for in the US. During an early LudoBites I had been playing with recipes for fried chicken and just serving it as staff meals. Late one night, Pultizer Prize winning food critic, Jonathan Gold come into LudoBites and we were basically out of food. I served him some of the chicken that had been brining for the next day staff meal and the rest is history. Jonathan wrote about the fried chicken and everyone wanted it. After trying numerous versions I finally landed on what became the LudoBird original dark meat chicken with provencal herbs. It is now served daily at Universal City Walk and on event days at STAPLES Center."
Foie Gras Croque Monsieur
Ludo Lefebvre: "I love a good croque monsieur and I love foie gras, so I decided to play with them and create a foie gras croque monsieur during my LudoBites period. Just for fun I made a black bread with squid ink. The sandwich became one of the most popular items ever at LudoBites and really cemented for me the idea to just have "fun" in the kitchen."
Ludo Lefebvre: "When I first opened Trois Mec, I wanted to cook a potato with the least amount of manipulation possible, so the guests could try to taste the potato, not everything usually served with the potato. But I also wanted the texture to be as authentic as possible. I decided to roast the potato and then pass it through a ricer. The texture was airy and light and it was just a potato. I served it atop a bed of onion soubise with saler cheese, with a light sprinkle of bonito on the top. Although the flavors I served it with we very apparent, what I like most was that it was just a potato. And people loved it."