Before hitting a pivotal 100th episode, I wanted to do something special and devote a show to a chef I admire, a friend, a unique artist — Ludo Lefebvre. With his new book being released next week, Ludo Bites: Recipes and Stories from the Pop-Up Restaurants of Ludo Lefebvre, we were able to visit with him, and eat some favorite dishes from his many pop-ups at a recent event at Quiksilver in Fashion Island, Newport Beach.
His book is a thorough collection of stories of each of his pop-ups throughout Los Angeles, including recipes of some of his more popular dishes from each one. It sums up quite nicely what I think started this phenomenon of chefs moving into restaurants that normally aren’t open for dinner service, bringing in their own staff with their own menu and serving up special limited-time dinners.
We also were given a chance to screen a new short film that Ludo appeared in for Quiksilver titled “Chef and The Sea” which was filmed several months ago when Ludo and Krissy hosted their pop-up in the Big Island of Hawaii. Along with spearfisherman Mark Healey, Stephanie Gilmore, a five time world champion surfer, and another surfer Reef McIntosh, Ludo uses fresh, local ingredients to accompany fresh local fish that Mark catches off of the coast of Hawaii. You can watch this short film below.
Watch “Chef and The Sea”
Some of Ludo’s dishes from the Quicksilver event:
Vegetarian salad with smoked couscous, basil, melon, garbanzo beans, and yogurt
One-bite lobster amuse bouche
Squid carbonara with bacon and the yolk of a quail egg
Mini taco with Brandade and arugula
Kona Crab, Cabbage, and Kimchi Butter Mini Tacos
Unless you’re in Kona, you’re not getting Kona crab. So use whatever crab you want for this dish. Dungeness, blue crab, or if you can’t get a whole live crab, buy some king crab legs. Just get some crab meat – the fresher the better.
Serves 4 (6 mini tacos each)
You’ll need 2 whole crabs, several blue crabs, or a few king crab legs.
To make the Kimchee Sauce:
1 gelatin sheet
1/2 cup water
3 ounces unsalted butter, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Three Crab fish sauce
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh daikon
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons sambal sauce
1/2 teaspoon finely grated garlic
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 green cabbage leaves
1 red cabbages leaves
2 teaspoons olive oil
To prepare cabbage:
Using a 3-4 inch-round cutter, cut out 24 discs each of green cabbage leaves and red cabbage leaves.
Cook the green cabbage discs in a large saucepan of boiling lightly salted water for 30 seconds, then remove the cabbage discs from the boiling water and transfer them to a bowl of ice water to cool. Remove the cabbage discs from the ice water and pat them dry with paper towels. Repeat with the red cabbage discs.
To make kimchee sauce:
Place the gelatin in a bowl of ice cold water and set aside until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat.
Add the butter and blend with an immersion blender.
Add the vinegar, daikon, sambal sauce, ginger, fish sauce, garlic, and honey, then blend well again with the immersion blender.
Remove the gelatin from the ice water and stir it into the butter mixture until it is dissolved. Keep the sauce hot.
In a big saucepan, add water, bring to boil. Add the crab, cook for 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, steam the cabbage discs in a Japanese bamboo steamer until they are hot. Remove the cabbage discs from the steamer and toss them in a small bowl with the olive oil and season them with salt.
Place the cooked crab in a bowl in ice water, to cool. Open the crab, clean the meat, and crack the legs and clean the meat. Set aside.
Lay the cabbage on a plate. Place some crabmeat on each piece of cabbage. Spoon the kimchee sauce over the crab.
Eat with your hands, like a mini-taco.
Music from this episode:
Angel On My Shoulder – Kaskade