At the S.Pellegrino Taste Guide dinner, Chefs Ludo Lefebvre and April Bloomfield created dishes based on food trends in New York City and Los Angeles.
April Bloomfield (one of Food and Wine’s Best New Chefs in 2007) and Ludo Lefebvre were there to create dishes inspired by culinary trends in the cities they call home, New York City and Los Angeles respectively.
When he’s not visiting New York, Lefebvre is a busy man: He’s currently designing a permanent – a break from the pop-up style he’s known for – installation in a small trailer outside the Native Hotel, from which he will serve coffee and waffles (it’s appropriately named Coffee & Waffles). He’ll be dishing out a menu of savory and sweet waffles, including one with topped with ham, cheese and onions, another made with dry shrimp, cilantro, coconut and jalapeno.
He’s also working on opening a location of Petit Trois in Sherman Oaks (the original location opened three years ago in Los Angeles), but this time “way bigger.”
“It has tables, a bigger menu, reservations. A normal restaurant,” he explains. “But still very classic French.”
Lefebvre says that he was surprised to discover how much people in California love classic French food, “with a lot of butter.”
“People think that Los Angeles is a vegetable city or vegan,” he says. “Not at all. People love good French food.”
Lefebvre’s son Luca, with whom he sometimes , may someday be getting into the family business. Lefebvre says the 6-year-old is “obsessed” with cooking.
“My wife showed me a picture of him cooking steak, and I never showed him [how to cook steak]. It’s so weird,” he recalls. “One morning, he woke me up with an omelette. He made an omelette by himself.”
Luca is such a natural that he thinks he even might have a few pointers for his dad.
“I was nominated for Best Chef in California by the James Beard Foundation this year. I did not win. I came back home and Luca asked me, ‘Papa, did you win the trophy?’ I said, ‘No I didn’t win, but I did my best.’ He said to me, ‘I’m going to come help you in the restaurant so that you win the trophy,’” Lefebvre remembers.
Meanwhile, April Bloomfield is also expanding her restaurant empire. Her team built a 13-foot wood fire hearth for her new restaurant in Los Angeles – still without a name – which she says may focus more on vegetables and birds.
When she came out with her most recent cookbook, A Girl and Her Greens, in 2015, fans of her usually meat-centric cooking may have been surprised that she loves vegetables just as much as she does a well cook pig.
“I think people were pleasantly surprised that I didn’t have a pig wrapped around my neck,” she says with a laugh. “No vegetables were harmed in the making of this cookbook.”
If you hoped to try what the chefs came up with for S.Pellegrino, the Taste Guide was open for one day only. The online guide, however, is available anytime.