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LudoBites, the cookbook: At last, dinner with no reservations

LudoIt should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that Ludo Lefebvre, the chef who practically invented the pop-up restaurant with his series of eternally sold-out LudoBites, is coming out with a cookbook based on them. It won't go on sale until October, but unfinished copies are already being circulated.

There are recipes, sure (tested by Rochelle Palermo), but you're not really going to buy this book to find out how to make chocolate cupcakes with foie-gras chantilly, right? It's the stories you're looking for and Lefebvre delivers them with his unmistakable combination of rough edges and sweetness (he's the kind of guy who has his kids' names tattooed on his fists).

Read about his beginnings as a chef, about working at l'Orangerie (unprintable), what it was like to work for Joe Pytka (surprisingly diplomatic), how the idea of the pop-up came to be, and how not turning away Jonathan Gold changed his life.

And you know what? That beef tartare with Asian pear and peanut sauce recipe actually looks pretty darned good.

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-- Russ Parsons

 
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