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Top Chef Top 10: Ludo Lefebvre

The talent behind Los Angeles's LudoBites pop-up restaurant was a fierce competitor on Top Chef Masters, Seasons 1 and 2. Here, 10 of his obsessions, including his desire to tattoo ingredients.

1. Hero

"Napoleon started with nothing and then made it to the top. I respect his ambition. He executed his vision. Paris is beautiful because of Napoleon."

2. Tattoos

"I want to tattoo food as a way to show my respect. If a farmer told me a pig's name, I'd tattoo it on the meat. I'd also use tattoos for limited-edition dishes, so you'd know if you got No. 1, say, or No. 20."

3. Meditating

"I want to be a Buddhist. Spend a month with monks and talk to no one."

Top Chef Ludo Lefebvre on his favorite dish: savory fromage blanc custards
© Kate Mathis

4. Favorite Dish

"This savory custard has the same flavors as a dish that my grandfather used to make with fromage blanc and chives. But the texture is so smooth, like flan or crème brûlée."

5. Painter

"Jean-Michel Basquiat always passed a strong message through the canvas. It could be a simple piece of art or a complicated one, but it always created a feeling. I love his use of textures and colors. I play with textures in my cooking to create an experience for people, and I think Basquiat did the same."

6. Music

"At LudoBites, I play hip-hop and rap really loud. The French rap group NTM is my favorite. I want to write a rap song about being a chef."

Top Chef Ludo Lefebvre on his motorcycle, a Ducati Monster S4R
Courtesy of Ducati

7. Motorcycle

"I drive my Ducati Monster S4R very fast. I know that I could die with one mistake. Kind of like cooking—one error and your career can be over."

Top Chef Ludo Lefebvre on his obsession with surfing
© 2008 Mike Toy/Barbados Tourism Authority

8. Surfing

"I love surfing, even though I'm not good at it. It lets me clear my mind, especially in the mornings, before work. The one problem is that I can turn only one way, so I never get too far."

9. Streetwear

"Undefeated's line is simple, elegant and comfortable. Plus it reminds me never to give up, even though I'll never be able to say I'm undefeated—just ask the Top Chef Masters team."

Top Chef Ludo Lefebvre on his dream pet, a rooster
© Petrina Tinslay

10. Pet

"I'd like to have a rooster; they're always happy and singing. But I don't think my neighbors would like the singing—mine or the rooster's."

Published February 2011
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