Chef Ludovic “Ludo” Lefebvre and his wife Krissy are the couple behind the popular and wildly successful LudoBites. The pop-up restarant concept is one that has been sweeping the restaurant scene across America, so this dynamic duo decided to jump on board.
As if opening and running a restaurant weren’t enough, the foodie couple recently welcomed their twins and after falling in love with the Bugaboo Donkey stroller, partnered up with the stroller giant to film a fantastic and super fun series of healthy cooking videos for families called “Ludo Baby Bites“.
We had a chance to speak to Chef Ludo last week and he not only shared a video and dished up some delicious tips, but gave us the scoop on his recent partnership.
CM: Can you tell us a bit about your partnership with Bugaboo?
Chef Ludo: “I came together with Bugaboo through a set of common goals. We both believe it is really important that we help parents not feel intimidated by preparing healthy meals for children, even when on the go. Bugaboo through its strollers has made life easier for parents when they need to get out and about and now we are hoping that through the Ludo Baby Bites series we can do the same – simplify without sacrificing quality.”
CM: I hear you are a fan of the infamous Donkey stroller that so many of us adore! What do you love most about the fab stroller?
Chef Ludo: “What is not to love? We have traveled to 3 different States already with it and it has been such a breeze. It is wonderful to provide a comfortable environment for the babies with the ease of transporting for us. When we visited Krissy’s parents for the holidays her dad never though we would get the Bugaboo in the car and was slightly panicked because he didn’t have the straps in the car to tie it on the roof. But when I collapsed it down and everything fit in the car, 2 car seats, 3 large suitcases, the Donkey and the three adults, he became a Bugaboo believer too.
CM: Let’s talk about one of my favourite subjects – food! How did you get into cooking and where did your love for the culinary arts come from?
Chef Ludo: “My love for cooking started young. I spent the afternoons after school with my grandmother in the kitchen. I would go to the garden with my grandfather on the weekends and pick the vegetables for Grandma. I asked for a set of copper pots and pans for Christmas when I was 10. I also loved to eat, so that definitely helped.
It was at 14 years-old when I decided to be a chef. There was no one in my family from the restaurant world, so I attribute it all to my grandmother and the hours upon hours I spent with her in the kitchen.”
CM: “I’m fascinated with the concept of your pop-up restaurant LudoBites! What made you decide to create a restaurant ‘on wheels’ rather than one with a permanent address?”
Chef Ludo: “It all started by accident. Back in 2007, my wife and I were trying to buy a restaurant but none of the deals made sense and I did not want to spend a fortune to open a restaurant just to make a landlord rich. I asked a friend that owned a bakery if I could borrow his space at night while he was closed and then Ludobites was born. I never expected it to become a business for the long term, but we are about to open #8 next week!
It has provided me a lot of freedom and opportunity, but one day I definitely want to open something more permanent. Now that we have the twins, they are our number one priority, so providing a safe and stable environment is important. ”
CM: What kind of options do you have on the menu? Any child-friendly meals?
Chef Ludo: “The menu changes with every Ludobites. I like to have a little bit of everything and I try my best to accommodate special needs. Depending on the age of the child, absolutely we have items for them. I don’t make chicken fingers, but I have had many children (ages 3-10) that eat many things on the menu and love it. I personally believe that it is important to introduce children’s palates to many flavours early on. The earlier, the better. Just like learning languages and listening to classical music, babies’ palates develop early, so train them and don’t be afraid. If you only feed your children chicken fingers and spaghetti, that is all they will eat.”
CM: I find it is so very hard to continuously cook and come up with healthy and original recipe ideas when working and caring for a family. What are some of your favorite meals that are quick, easy and healthy?
Chef Ludo: “Roasted chicken is very easy. Just rub the skin with a little butter, stuff the bird with some herbs and lemon and put in the oven to roast. A little basting every now and then is good to make the skin crispy. I also love eggs for dinner. That is when we eat eggs in France. So think about an omelette for dinner or as I demonstrate in a Ludo Baby Bites Episode, an Egg Souffle with Spinach. Easy, delicious and healthy for the whole family.”
CM: Do you have any tips & tricks for parents looking to save time in the kitchen?
“The most important tip is not to cook a separate meal for the children and a separate meal for the parents. Everyone should eat the same thing (with necessary salt and spice modification for children depending on their age). Also, think about cooking extra portions and freezing for those days when you are just too tired to cook. It is still healthy, fresh food.”
CM: Any other new and upcoming projects you would like to discuss?
Chef Ludo: “Just tune in to watch the Ludo Baby Bites series for Bugaboo. There are some really great recipes! If you or your readers have any questions, I am happy to help. You can also post questions to my Facebook page www.facebook.com/ludobites.