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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Celebrity chef Ludo Lefebvre has pulled off another culinary coup with Petit Trois, his French bistro in Los Angeles, which was nominated for the best new U.S. restaurant award by the James Beard Foundation.
It is the third eatery owned by the classically-trained French-born chef, whose LudoBites, a multi-city restaurant tour, helped popularize pop-up dining in the United States several years ago.
In addition to his restaurants, Lefebvre has been coaching aspiring chefs on the ABC television cooking competition show, "The Taste," as well as working on "All-Star Chef Classic," a Los Angeles food festival.
The 43-year-old, who was trained in France for 12 years before moving to the United States, spoke to Reuters about his new eatery, the pop-up restaurant trend and the vibrant restaurant scene in Los Angeles.
Q: How does your restaurant Petit Trois reflect your cooking now?
A: I would say it encompasses a respect for tradition and my classic Parisian technique, but with a sense of modernity. I am always looking toward the future, I think that's very important.
Q: How has your culinary point of view evolved since you wrote your first book "Crave"?
A: My point of view has not changed much. The only thing I think I value more now is simplicity.
Q: Do you think the pop-up trend is over?
A: Not at all. Pop-up restaurants are everywhere and the trend is only growing. Look at Noma at the Mandarin Oriental in Tokyo, it's amazing!
Q: Would you be the chef you are today if you stayed in France?
A: Absolutely not. Moving to Los Angeles opened my palate and my eyes to a lot of different flavors and cultures that I never would have been exposed to. In many ways, it gave me freedom.
Q: What are the changes in the L.A. dining scene since you arrived 20 years ago?
A: The biggest change is the amount of young talent there is today. Los Angeles is bursting with a lot of young, fresh talent.
Q: Do you have a TV persona or are you showing your true personality on "The Taste"?
A: That is me! Nobody tells me what to do.
Editing by Patricia Reaney and G Crosse