Written by Hairee Lee So last Sunday while my boyfriend saved lives at MGH, I found this show on Hulu: Ludo Bites America. I recognized the chef from his brief stay on Top Chef Masters and his battle with Mario Battali on Iron Chef. Especially from TCM, I remembered Ludovico "Ludo" Lefebvre being the hothead Frenchman whose culinary ego was way over baked, over seasoned, and ultimately over turned. And then there are his tattoo sleeves on both arms. A French dude, no, a French chef with sleeves. Add to that, he's got that Pepe Le Pew ((In a conversation with a friend about the violence and ethically ambiguousness in cartoons, Pepe Le Pew was near the top of the list. He practically tries to rape that cat.)) accent. His hair kind of reminds me of the sexually harassing skunk.
I couldn't make up stuff this ridiculous in my fiction and have people believe it. He seemed like a cartoon. a French wannabe bad boy, wannabe rock star, wannabe American cartoon. I kind of loved it.
His show, Ludo Bites America, documents his adventures in taking his LA based pop-up restaurant, Ludo Bites, established in 2010 ((You can read or listen to the NPR interview with Ludo back in 2010 when his pop-up restaurant came out to rave reviews.)), to other cities across America. And it is oh so much fun. Hulu showed the first episode as an amuse bouche sort of thing last Sunday, but it officially airs tonight on the Sundance Channel. ((Don't ask me what channel that is. I don't have cable. All of my TV glutting is through the internet.)) Maybe it was the competitive setting that can bring out the merde in people, but Ludo is in his element with only himself to battle and beat and he has become my top chef du jour of television.
Ludo swears. He can eat spicy food. He orders people around without making them hate him. He's got what looks like a working marriage. ((Who can say for sure? She seems cool enough.)) And from his diners on the show, the chef can cook. If you need more evidence of that positive, check out his website. His accolades are well documented online and too long for me to want to go into. He's got cooking chops and the press to prove it.
But since I can't taste his food through my laptop monitor, what really gets me excited is Ludo at work. He's not hard on the eyes, but not really my type. ((French dudes have never done it for me. But never say never, they say.)) But it's like guys with guitars: a dork like John Mayer picks up a guitar and suddenly he's a dish. Dork to dish. Once Ludo starts cooking, he gets manic, totally charming. Délicieux, délectable, savoureux.
Check out Ludo Bites America tonight or once Hulu uploads it on their website, probably tomorrow. You'll eat it up.